Monday, May 12, 2014

Chicken Salad for a Crowd

I am finding myself feeding a crowd more and more frequently as my family grows. I am the second of nine children so I'm sure my parents felt like they were feeding a crowd everyday! Now that most of my siblings are married and have kids of their own our numbers have grown exponentially. We are blessed to have 6 of the 9 siblings living in this area
so we gather for family dinners every month or so. We all chip in and bring something so it is never too difficult on one person. One of my go-to Spring or Summer dishes is chicken salad. It is easy to do a large batch and most everyone loves it on a sandwich.

I start by using canned chicken. I have cooked chicken breast in the crockpot and shredded it myself, but it is so fast to just use canned. I know that one can of chicken makes enough chicken salad to feed my crew of 7. Some of my kids are still young, but so are my nieces and nephews so this is a good judge. Six cans of chicken will feed about 40 people when half of them are kids.

Drain the chicken and place it in a large bowl. Break up the chicken pieces with a fork. Add mayonnaise, chopped celery, onions, and sliced almonds. Season with lemon pepper and salt. All these ingredients I do to taste and consistency. I like to add craisins or chopped grapes, but not everyone likes these so I just put them in small containers on the buffet so people can add them to their sandwich if they want to.

You can easily make this a day or two ahead of the big event and store it in the fridge. This size batch filled two 8 cup containers.

I serve it on potato rolls or small hamburger buns. We end up setting up a buffet at family gatherings because it is just easier when 40 people are coming. I will pre-make a few sandwiches on a platter to speed up the line, and then let others make their own. When I am in charge of hosting, I just ask everyone else to bring a salad or side dish that will go with sandwiches and we are set. 

It makes for an easy, stress free, make ahead meal so I am free to just get the house and  yard ready. I'm so excited that warm weather is here so we can get together a little more often with friends and family!

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