Food has always played an important role in my life. I have found few better storytellers than food – rich flavors, legendary recipes and late night snacks never show up without an interesting adventure to surround them. There are the epic weekend parties with friends followed by taco binges at 2AM or the indescribably delicious gelato that made a certain terrible day much more bearable. Every morsel tells a story.
Of all the cooks I know, my grandmother stands as one of the greatest. She knew that to weave a proper tale, you had to let the ingredients narrate the story. Her recipes weren’t by the book. It was always a “pinch of” this or a “splash of” that – molecular gastronomy from an untrained chef. She had this way of bringing out flavors my juvenile taste buds could only dream up.
In particular, my grandmother’s creole chicken salad was a collision of subcultures in the mouth. It was actually a recipe passed down by her grandmother but she perfected it, as modern chefs are apt to do. Chopped vegetables, creamy creole mayonnaise and generous chunks of roasted chicken were topped off with her signature New Orleans spice combo. It eventually earned the nickname “Lexie’s Creole Crack”…for good reason. From the first bite, you were hooked.
In partnership with Stella Artois, I’m sharing this family recipe with you guys. Stella Artois has always been my beer of choice and knowing its recipe hasn’t changed in hundreds of years makes it an even sweeter choice. I’ll always value things made with passion and it’s passion that you can taste in Stella Artois. The storied brand has recently released a fantastic new campaign (“The Butcher, The Baker, The Belgian Beer Maker”) highlighting the immensely creative role women play in modern cuisine.
Find the full recipe below and my favorite of the campaign videos featuring model Chrissy Tiegen. If you get a chance to test-drive my grandmother’s recipe be sure to let me know and share your own recipes/stories with @StellaArtois using #AThingOfBeauty. Can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!
Creole Chicken Salad
Best Served: Chilled/Refrigerated
2/3 cup light mayonnaise (or heavy if you so choose)
2 tablespoons of Creole mustard (or spicy brown mustard)
1 tablespoon horseradish sauce
1 tablespoon minced green onions
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of cinnamon
1/2 shot of your favorite dark whiskey
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (preferably Tabasco)
1/2 teaspoon basil leaves
1/3 teaspoon cracked pepper (or black pepper)
1 rotisserie chicken (for time-saving purposes)
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped green peppers
1/2 cup finely chopped cucumbers
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
4 ounces andouille sausages or hot links, cut into half-inch by half-inch slice (OPTIONAL)**
For Creole Mayo Dressing:
In a small bowl, thoroughly mix the mayonnaise, horseradish, mustard, green onions, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and shot of whiskey.
Refrigerate until ready to use. (To note: it should stay good for up to 3 days before use.)
For The Rest:
If you have time to make your own whole chicken at home, follow this easy recipe. It’s one of my favorites. Otherwise, I use a rotisserie chicken from my local grocer to save some time and space in my small New York City kitchen.
Slice the white meat off the chicken. Chop into slightly even chunks (quarter-inch by quarter-inch is normally my rule).
Combine the chicken chunks, celery, green peppers, cucumbers, pecans in a large bowl. Mix in the cracked pepper and hot sauce. Lastly, stir in the creole mayo dressing (above) and add a pinch of salt to the final product. For an extra Cajun kick, I add in some Andouille sausage slices but that it totally optional!
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. It should last up to a week, if tightly sealed. I love serving this with roast potatoes and Stella Artois. Or if you’re in a rush, it tastes fantastic as a wrap or on potato bread!
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Stella Artois. All content, opinions and creative assets contained within are my own.