I’d invited some friends over over for a girly lunch and then I had to decide what to serve. I was strolling through a folder of recipes and clippings that I keep in a large hanging folder in my filing cabinet when I saw the recipe for warm chicken salad in Betsy Townsend’s handwriting. It’s always a success at parties and picnics.
Betsy was the wife of my old boss at the glove factory I ran in Knoxville. Betsy served this at at a big party they held at their home many years ago and I thought it was delicious. The next day I called her and asked for the recipe and she said, “It feeds an army, Maureen, are you sure you want it?” Tsk. Once you know the ingredients to anything, it’s easy cut most any recipe down.
For the lunch I decided to make the warm chicken salad and fill vol au vents with it and it was delicious! It was all thumbs up and perfect with a small side salad.Taking some time out for girly talk is something I don’t do anywhere near often enough. We almost didn’t have room for sweets but of course we found our dessert stomachs. Lorraine from Not Quite Nigella taught me that everyone has a dessert stomach, we just have to find it.
- 2½ cups Sliced mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 3 cups Cooked chicken
- 1 cup Diced celery
- 1 cup Sliced almonds
- 1 Jar pimiento chopped (I couldn't find any so I used roasted capsicum/peppers)
- ½ Can cream of chicken soup
- Juice ¼ lemon
- 1½ cups Chicken stock
- ½ Small grated onion
- ¾ cup Mayonnaise
- salt and pepper
- ¼ cup Grated Parmesan
- ⅛ teaspoon Sweet paprika
- Vol au Vents if you choose to serve your salad that way (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F
- When the recipe is all prepped, put a skillet on medium heat and add the oil and mushrooms. When they have released their liquid and the pan is nearly dry, place them in a large bowl.
- Set aside a few sliced almonds and the cheese and place all the rest of the ingredients into the bowl with the mushrooms.
- Mix well and add salt and pepper to taste. Some chicken stock is saltier than others so you'll have to taste to be sure.
- Place in a large casserole dish and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top and lightly dust with sweet paprika. Toss a few sliced almonds on top just to look good.
- Bake about 45 minutes or until the sauce is thickened.
- After the mushrooms are cooked, add them and the other ingredients to a large saucepan and cook until the sauce has reduced. This will keep the vol au vents from getting soggy.
- Brush the vol au vents with beaten egg for a golden pastry just before filling.
- Fill the pastry with the chicken mixture, sprinkle with the cheese and almonds and dust with sweet paprika.
- Bake for about 20 minutes