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Old Fashioned Chicken Salad. Simple and comforting chicken salad made with minimal ingredients. Made completely from scratch the old fashioned way.
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3.52 from 92 votes

Old Fashioned Chicken Salad

There's lots of good chicken salad recipes out there.  My favorite is Old Fashioned Chicken Salad made the way my Granny did.


  • 5 pound stewing hen
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • all the shredded stewed hen meat roughly 8 cupfuls
  • 1 1/2 cups Duke's mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cups sweet pickle relish with the juice
  • 2 celery ribs minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper


  • To stew the hen, place hen, breast down, in a large stockpot. Add remaining ingredients and fill stockpot with water. Use a colander insert if you have one for your stochpot. It makes removal of the hen and vegetables much easier.
  • Cover and place on medium heat.
  • Bring the pot to boil. Turn the heat down to medium low and simmer for one hour or until the hen is good and tender.
  • Remove hen and vegetables. Discard vegetables.
  • Set aside hen to cool. As soon as it's cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones.
  • Shred the meat.
  • To make the salad, place meat in a large mixing bowl.
  • In a small mixing bowl, mix remaining ingredients to make the dressing.
  • Add to chicken and mix.
  • If mixture is too dry, add more mayo.
  • Taste and adjust for seasoning.
  • Chill before serving.
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