Growing up in Baltimore we had a local, family-owned chain of grocery stores, “Mars Supermarket”. I loved Mars. The deli and bakery were top notch and I still get a craving for the donuts made fresh on the weekends. What I remember most about Mars were the deli salads. Macaroni, potato, chicken, tuna… all with many different varieties to choose from. Sadly, a few years ago they sold out to a big chain. On my last trip to Baltimore, I found myself pining with nostalgic heartbreak for the Mars deli. These kind of stores are fading from sight in many towns and it’s a shame because they are treasures.
In Tennessee, we have a similar grocery store that reminds me a lot of Mars. Ingles Market. It represents Knoxville well and it’s my go-to place to shop. Ingles Market doesn’t have a deli or bakery even comparable to Mars, (at least not in my mind) but Ingles has a chicken salad that fulfills the deep longing in my soul when I crave a good old fashioned, country style chicken salad. Ingles chicken salad on a cracker is divine. But, Ingles chicken salad is expensive.
So I set out to make my own for those times we are on a budget. This recipe is a close match. Not quite but very close. I made it with the boiled chicken that I used to make our chicken stock. I used Duke’s mayo. You have to use Duke’s mayo. Everyone has to use Duke’s mayo. I also have added light brown sugar to this recipe in the past, but I prefer it without. But some may prefer that sweet touch. This chicken salad is my homage to those family-owned, local grocery store deli’s. Comforting and delicious.
A tablespoon of quality organic buttermilk creates a subtle tang and is the main reason this salad is described as “country style”. The capers add another layer of savory depth, although capers are definitely optional. Tangy, savory and true comfort food on a sunny afternoon or midnight snack.
Country Style Chicken Salad
This chicken salad is my homage to family-owned, local grocery store deli’s. Comforting and delicious. A tablespoon of quality organic buttermilk creates a subtle tang and is the main reason this salad is described as “country style”. The capers add another layer of savory depth, although capers are definitely optional. Tangy, savory and true comfort food on a sunny afternoon or midnight snack.
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 stalk of celery finely dice , leaves included
- 2 tbsp capers (optional)
- 1 tbsp good quality buttermilk
- 1/2 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
- 1 tsp sea salt (fine)
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp light brown sugar (optional)
- Add onion, celery and capers to chicken.
- Mix in mayo until well moistened.
- Add light brown sugar if desired and mix well.