Thursday, May 1, 2014

Food for the Masses

This past weekend was one of my husbands motorcycle events - a progressive dinner ride. Basically, they ride to various clubhouses and have snacks and appetizers at each spot until they get to the last stop where a steak dinner is served. This is the second time they have held this event so I already have my contribution down - chicken salad sandwiches. When I made these the first time it was because I wanted something fairly cheap that didn't require a ton of work to make in large amounts. Turns out they were a HUGE hit - didn't expect that at all! My SIL makes steak and cheese egg rolls - the thought of all the prep makes my head ache! For this latest event I made about 10 pounds of chicken salad (Thank the heavens for truckload meat sales, food processors and stand mixers) and about 75 sandwiches. There was about a quart of chicken salad left over that my husband has been happily eating for lunch all week. Here's how it came together:

Chicken Salad for a Crowd

10 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 30 oz container of Mayonnaise
1 large sweet onion
2/3 bunch of celery
1/2 Cup brown sugar
2 Tbs salt (or to taste)
1/2 Tbs black pepper (or to taste)

Place chicken in a VERY large pot and cover with water. Boil chicken breasts on high heat until cooked through. Turn off heat and let cool in water overnight. When cool, remove any remaining fate, cartilage or otherwise icky stuff from the breasts (if should come off easily now), cut breasts into thirds and shred in a stand mixer using a paddle attachment - work in batches. Place shredded chicken in a very large mixing bowl. (Save poaching liquid - it is now chicken stock)

In a food processor finely chop onion and celery. Add to shredded chicken along with remaining ingredients. Stir to incorporate. If mixture seems stiff or dry add about a half cup of reserved chicken stock to loosen or more mayo - or both! Adjust seasonings to taste. Let sit overnight to meld flavors.

As a rule I always serve these on Kings Hawaiian rolls. They just make it all taste better. I use the mini sub rolls because they are already split. I just cut them in half for perfectly sized appetizer sandwiches and top with a little lettuce for crunch. That's all there is to it!

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