Monday, April 12, 2010

The Betty Crocker Project : Chicken Salad

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It is REALLY hard to take a photo of white food and make it look like something you’d want to eat. But, trust me—you want to eat this.

This weekend Dan and I had a big yard sale to kick start the Los Angeles Exodus. It was the first really warm and sunny weekend of the year, and I guess everyone went to the beach instead of coming by to buy our extra TV—the one Dan deemed "too small" when we moved in together, but before then was the largest TV I ever owned. We purged most of the awkward things we've outgrown. . . Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarantino movies on VHS tapes, ironic hoodies, and the teapot I've had since college. I have to admit there are still a few objects kicking around here that belong in a dorm. . . but some things you can't rush. I need time to let go.

Growing up can be hard. To ease the pain, we ate Faux Chicken Salad on toasted whole wheat everything bagels. Normally I'd use our family recipe but these days, it's all about Betty. I'm even debating a Betty-inspired tattoo for the big 3-5 birthday coming up. I have to admit, she’s been an inspiration—breaking my rut of lasagnas and baked zitis, in addition to my rut of hoarding obsolete media.  Betty's Chicken Salad was a great base, but I added a few extras because that's what I do. . . 
  • 2 Cups Cooked Fake Chicken (fried up in a cast iron skilletYour browser may not support display of this image. the night before in olive oil and some liquid smokeYour browser may not support display of this image. , chopped and then stored in the fridge wrapped in paper towels over night to soak up extra oil.We used this product from May Wah, which doesn't look great in the photo, but is very strongly suggested; but Morningstar Strips and Gardein are always good too, and available in most grocery stores.)
  • Olive Oil for cooking 
  • Liquid Smoke for cooking
  • 1/2 Cup Veganaise
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Lemon Pepper
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • Pinch of Celery Seed
  • Pinch of Dried Parsley
  • 2 Medium Stalks of Celery (chopped) 
  • 1/2 Large Red Onion (chopped) 
Mix it all in a bowl - Add salt and pepper to taste.
Eat on bread, try not to get too sentimental about outdated technology, and reminisce about how funny this is.


  1. Sounds amazing and the photo isn't dull at all etiher! I am going to try this with Gardein.. What's the point of putting it in the fridge over night? does it make the texture change? or Just to make it moist?

  2. Well - putting it in the fridge makes it cold so it doesn't make the veganaise warm and kinda runny, firms up the fake chicken and gives it time for the oil to seep out. . . but really the chilled part is the most important part. I bet in like an hour it would be chilled enough. Please send photos if you make it! We'd love to see them!

  3. I really love how you guys link to the products you use. It really helps the newbies :) FANTASTIC!

  4. Whole Foods throws in some red grapes and poppyseeds in their chicken salad . . . I bet that would be awesome on this one . . . thanks for sharing.

  5. This is delicious!!! I added a little bit of carrots, lettuce, apple, and walnuts. Wonderful!!!