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
Amanda (@lambsearshoney) says
Oh yum, what a great party recipe. I love chicken & anything in pastry, so it’s right up my alley. And all over my hips, probably.
I love the sound of this crowd-pleaser, Maureen, and this couldn’t come at a better time as I’m starting to think of party things as it’s time to celebrate the oncoming of summer. We can easily find great ready-prepared vol-au-vents at our local frozen food shop so thank you for a great idea! That way I can really concentrate on dessert (love that expression, btw!).
I love that I can make this ahead and bake off to be ready for meal time. It’s a lifesaver if you’ve got a lot on. (and who doesn’t these days)
Lorraine is absolutely right.. there is always room for desserts 🙂 and a big one too. This is an easy recipe and a real breeze when you have a crowd. Thanks for sharing.
Wow! This sounds delicious and I bet it was a huge hit with your friends! This is a must try, thanks for the recipe!
Wow this salad looks delicious and I love the look of those pastries! My kind of appetizer/lunch. 🙂 Great recipe, Maureen. 🙂
Shashi at RunninSrilankan says
Yum! This is one creative chicken salad – Thanks so much for sharing Betsy’s recipe, Maureen! And that Lorraine is a wise lady… 🙂
Loved the presentation, super stylish, and yes, girly… wish I could get the teletransporter to work so I could join you all…
(I promise to do the dishes and take the pup for a long walk)
Marilyn Lesniak says
Maureen! I never thought to eat chicken salad warm, or to add almonds! This goes in my must have recipe file!
Jean | DelightfulRepast.com says
Maureen, this looks like a delicious variation (mushrooms) on something I used to make often years ago! Must make this soon!
Carol at Wild Goose Mama says
Oh My!!!! What a wonderful recipe. I love chicken salad to start with. But this is over the top and very elegant! Thank you for the grand idea.
Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) says
Yum – Maureen – love the sound of this – have some leftover chicken so might just have this for dinner tonight – thanks:)
I haven’t seen vol au vents on a blog in ages. It’s a lovely presentation of a tasty, hearty chicken dish.
Suzy @ The Mediterranean Dish says
This chicken salad looks so wonderfully comforting! And I like the addition of the Vol au Vents. So glad you took some time to be with girlfriends. And it is so true that everyone has a dessert stomach!!! So true!
Vol au vents! Throwback from the 80’s – WHY have’t I made the recently?? They rock! I love warm chicken salads. Wow the flavours you’ve got going on for the sauce looks incredible! 🙂
I don’t know. I hadn’t made any in more than 20 years 🙂
Veronica (Roni) says
Inspirational as always Maureen…think I should have a girls lunch at mine :)) thanks for sharing the recipe too xx
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Aww Maureen I’m totally warmed by the shoutout! And I love these recipes from your life back in America. They’re always good, ALWAYS! I still love the scone and the chocolate muffin recipe! 😀 x
Without you, Lorraine, I’d be declining dessert every time I thought I was full. 🙂
Kim | a little lunch says
Maureen, I remember this “warm chicken salad” making the rounds back in the 70’s and I haven’t had it for YEARS. Thank you for digging through your recipe file! I love your idea to serve it in pastry cups — charming and yes, girly! Hope you had a lovely chat and some much-needed girl time. xo
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
Who could resist that golden pastry and tasty chicken salad? What a perfect lunch!
What a lovely presentation. Elevates chicken salad to a new galaxy!
Tricia @ Saving room for dessert says
I love this presentation! What fun to have friends over to chat, and eat, and chat, and eat again! Sounds like a perfect day. Thanks Maureen – I will tuck this recipe away too.
John@Kitchen Riffs says
Way too easy for me to find my dessert stomach. 😉 This looks great — perfect for a fancy luncheon. Girly or no. 😉
Sadly, I have no trouble finding it now that I know it exists. 🙂
There are so many fabulous qualities to this dish, what’s not to love? And you’ve photographed them so beautifully. Bookmarked for a future run in my kitchen. Thanks for sharing the recipe, Maureen!
Thanks, Brooks. It’s all love over here. 🙂
Ciao Florentina says
Yumo is the word of the day! Gotta bookmark this for party food! Usually around here it is almost always bruschetta lol need a change !
Abbe @ This is How I Cook says
This is such a classic recipe. I miss the days of ladies luncheons. It seems to have missed my generation, but was so popular in my mother’s.
I’m probably your mother’s age. 🙂
Hotly Spiced says
I wish I could have been at your lunch – for the company first and then because I know you’d feed me well. And I would have brought the dessert! I do love how you presented this in vol au vents – beautiful presentation and makes for neat and tidy serving too xx
You would be such good value at lunch. 🙂
What a marvelous thing to do, Maureen. 🙂 It’s always SO good to chat with friends over delicious food. xo
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
Ooh I can almost taste this! Yum Maureen. I totally agree with the dessert stomach.
Lisa Goldfinger says
What a gorgeous recipe! The vol-au-vents are so festive and beautiful, and perfect to hold the chicken salad. I’ve never thought of making warm chicken salad but it sounds delicious!
I love having my girlfriends over for lunches. This is such a lovely dish to entertain with. The pastry looks flaky and perfect. I’d love to dig into it.
Have a great weekend. xx
Mary Frances says
Yummy! They look so beautiful and I’m sure they taste fantastic! The crust is especially gorgeous.
Diane (Created by Diane) says
Girly time is much needed and I will need to try this the next time I have a get together, it looks delicious!
That does look like a great crowd pleaser! The photographs are beautiful too.
Steve Puu says
How creative!. It is so delicious. Thank for sharing. I love salead, especially chicken salad. I’m going to try it now
Wow! This sounds delicious and I bet it was a huge hit with your friends! This is a must try, thanks for the recipe.. So glad you took some time to be with girlfriends. And it is so true that everyone has a dessert stomach!!! So true!
Tara Noland says
Drooling looking at these pictures and the amazing recipe. I am always looking for a great recipe for turkey leftovers and now I need to look no further. I can’t wait to make this, delish!!
Chris Scheuer says
I can see why you’ve kept this one for all these years. It looks like a keeper, for sure! The kind of dish that everyone would like. I love that it’s fairly simple to put together and it looks so… pretty!
WOW this is MY kinda recipe!!!! Wholesome and delicious, definitely can’t lose site of this one, pinning! 🙂
Great way to turn leftover chicken into a delightful dish! I have lots and lots of cold chicken salad, but now I’m craving your warm one. Thanks for sharing this Maureen!
Simply Sweet Justice says
Wow – who knew chicken salad could be so elegant! I am planning a girls’ tea and will be trying this.
Anna @ shenANNAgans says
I’m not even hungry, but this dish had me leaning in close for a sniff of my computer screen. So yummy!
I bet your friends loved this dish too. Thanks for the recipe, adding to my list to try.
Jean | DelightfulRepast.com says
Maureen, I already commented on this post but had to come back to it today because I just posted my dish that is similar. One that my husband dubbed “Chicken and Corn Flakes” decades ago. Unfortunately, I don’t know how that name is going to play with the public! 😀
Dorothy Dunton says
Hi Maureen! I have a confession to make – I sometimes eat dessert first! Of course, I also eat desserts for breakfast! 🙂
The pictures alone look orgasmic. Can’t wait to try it out this evening 🙂 Thanks.