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Bachelor Pad Royale: Chicken Salad with Homemade Mayonnaise

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Dec 17, 2007 4:30PM

2007_12_chicken_salad.jpgWhere protein is concerned, chicken is easily the biggest mainstay in our diet. It's affordable, lean, and easy to prepare; it provides us with the flexibility for a wide array of recipes; and we're never bored with eating it. On the other side of the spectrum is mayonnaise. We don't mean satiny emulsions like aioli fragrant with garlic or dill, mind you. We're talking about the white man's poison, Hellman's ca-ca.

Our aversion to straight mayonnaise is so far-reaching that simply typing the word brings about our gag reflex. It's Undercover Brother in scope. Mayonnaise is also the main reason we've never prepared chicken salad.

Until now. Last week we thawed some chicken breasts and wanted to do something different. We also thought that if we could control the flavor of mayonnaise, we might be able to make a good salad. Along with some other ingredients we had in our pantry, what we ended up with was one of those happy accidents that we had the foresight to copy for posterity.

What You Need

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 small Spanish onion
2 large celery sticks
1 large Washington apple
1/2 cup raisins

For the mayonnaise:

1 egg
1 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Sea salt
Fresh black pepper

2007_12_mayonnaise.jpgYou want to prepare the mayonnaise first. Beat the egg until slightly thick in a blender. Slowly add the oil in one-teaspoon increments, blending thoroughly after each addition, until 1/3 cup has been emulsified into the mix. Then add a few drops of the lemon juice, and blend thoroughly. Rotate between the oil and juice until you've used both up. Add the seasonings to taste. This recipe yields 1 cup.

We added a lot of seasonings, and you can see the result for yourself. We're taking baby steps here. Just can't start liking the stuff overnight.

Season and grill the chicken breasts until fully cooked. Remove and allow to cool, which will seal in the juices. When the chicken has cooled, dice it and place in a mixing bowl. Then dice the onion, celery and apple, and add to the bowl with the raisins. Add 1/4 cup of the mayonnaise and mix all the ingredients well. We used the mayonnaise as a more of a complement for the other salad ingredients. You want to drown it in that shit, that's up to you. We do recommend spreading this salad over toasted Polish rye.

If you don't want to squeeze lemon juice for the mayonnaise, you can use vinegar or (ugh!) ReaLemon. Maybe substituting lime for lemon would make a brighter-tasting mayonnaise. Although our maiden voyage turned out fine, we aren't in a hurry to find out for ourselves.