For as long as I can remember, my mom has been making AWESOME chicken salad. Chicken salad is pretty big here in Birmingham, with 2 local restaurants constantly battling for the crown of best chicken salad. That being said, I believe chicken salad is best made at home, and NOT purchased in a restaurant for $9 for a tiny container.
Mom usually poaches chicken for her chicken salad, but I prefer to take a little shortcut and use a store-bought rotisserie chicken instead (save the carcass for chicken stock!). This recipe is very simple; there are no grapes nor apple pieces, though you could add them if you wish. If you don't like almonds, leave them out or substitute walnuts instead. And even devout pineapple haters will enjoy this salad, since you don't really taste the pineapple!
You can do the fancy thing and serve a scoop of this salad on a romaine leaf with fresh fruit and crackers, or do as I do and simply slap it on some plain white bread and enjoy a good sandwich!
Mom's Hawaiian Chicken Salad
adapted from Mom (Hi Mom!!!)
1/2 - 3/4 cup good mayonnaise (PLEASE don't use Miracle Whip)
3 chicken breasts, poached (or 1 rotisserie chicken) & shredded
1 8oz can crushed pineapple, drained well
1 stalk celery, finely minced
1/2 cup slivered almonds, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
Combine the chicken, celery, almonds & pineapple in a bowl.
Add mayonnaise, a little at a time, to moisten.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover & chill 2 hours before serving.