Today is my niece Olivia’s birthday. I got this recipe from her last week. For those of you that don’t know, Straub’s is an upscale grocery store in St. Louis. This recipe was posted here in St. Louis Today; it’s a copycat recipe of the much beloved chicken salad you can get at Straub’s. For the record, I’ve never had the real deal, but I was intrigued, and I sure did have fun talking to Olivia about it. And I have to admit that sometimes, I feel a bit of shock when I imagine that I’m chatting with my niece over text messages about a chicken salad, when it seems like it wasn’t that long ago that she was just little.
I asked Olivia about some of the ingredients, like, did I really have to put celery seed in it? She answered that she thought that particular ingredient was key. Okay.
So I did make a special trip to Ballard Market, as they have spices in bulk, even during the pandemic. Thank you Ballard Market!
I enjoyed making this chicken salad, especially because my niece Olivia loves it. I’m getting melancholy just writing this post, and don’t even talk to me about how my heart was aching (in a good way) while going through old photographs.
I know, I know, is this post about chicken salad? Well, yes, yes it is. Kind of. Olivia and I agree that the chicken salad is much better if you let it rest in the fridge for a day to let the flavors mingle. We also both agree that the recipe needs to be doubled, so that is what I did.
Straub’s Chicken Salad
(Serves 4 to 6, original recipe here)
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 3 cups water
- 1 carrot, cut into chunks
- 1 rib celery, cut into chunks
- 1/2 medium yellow onion
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 to 5 whole black peppercorns
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1.5 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp celery seed
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp finely diced celery
- 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
- In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock, water, carrot, celery, onion, bay leaf, and peppercorns to a boil.
- Add the chicken breasts, making sure there is enough liquid to cover them completely, by an inch or so. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until chicken is done.
- Remove chicken breasts and set aside to cool. Save broth for other uses (or, you can save it and use it to make chicken salad again!)
- When cool, shred the chicken into 1 inch pieces (you should have about 4 cups worth, more or less) and mix with the mayonnaise, lemon juice, celery seed, salt, diced celery, and white pepper.
- Place in airtight container in fridge for 24 hours.
- When ready to serve, give the salad a good stir, taste and adjust for seasoning, adding salt if necessary. Enjoy!
And just for fun…