Feaston’s Ultimate Chicken Salad

Don’t kid yourself — this recipe is a love letter to mayonnaise, which is funny, because we don’t tend to eat a lot of that ’round here. On sandwiches, we both prefer mustard. And in dips, sour cream is king.

But I was feeling nostalgic the other week, and I remembered the incredible chicken salad they make at The Gourmet Shop, a little hole-in-the-wall cafe/shop/liquor store in Columbia, S.C. It is the only thing I miss about living there.

Anyway, I used to work at said Gourmet Shop and people would come from miles around just to purchase their fantastic chicken salad. My friend and I would buy it by the pound, slather it on fresh French bread and nurse our hangovers from the night before. But I’ve said too much.

Feaston's infamous chicken salad. It was inspired by a college cuisine memory.

Feaston's infamous chicken salad. It was inspired by a college cuisine memory.

What made the Gourmet Shop’s chicken salad so good wasn’t that it was loaded with tarragon or had any weird ingredients (like, God forbid, grapes). It was just perfectly moist chicken, poppy seeds, salt, pepper and Duke’s mayonnaise.

But alas, it is very hard to find Duke’s mayonnaise up North. So we just made some!

It was stupid easy.

First, get out your trusty food processor. Trust me — your hand will fall off if you try to make this by whisking.

To start, dump in:

  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (trust me on this)
  • 1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • splash of Tabasco sauce
  • splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large egg

Now then, put the lid on and whir it around until everything is well incorporated and the mixture is a nice yellow color (about 30 seconds).

You can let it go long than you think. You want this whipped up good.

If 30 seconds isn't enough, go a few longer. You want this whipped up good.

Then, for the hard part: with the food processor running, slowly pour in 1 and 1/4 cups vegetable oil. You want to add it in a nice, slow, steady stream.

See? A nice strong, steady stream.

See? A nice slow, steady stream.

This should take about one minute. In the end, you should have a fully incorporated, thick, fluffy pile of mayo.

Your mayo should look like this when you are finished.

Your mayo should look like this.


But of course, chicken is supposedly the star of chicken salad. We just went ahead and shredded what was leftover from our Crock Pot Chicken, about three cups or so.

Then we sprinkled the chicken with poppy seeds — about 2 Tbsps., I’d say, but just eyeball it. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Then, add the mayo. There’s no such thing as too much. Mix it up and top with more poppy seeds.

Serving suggestions: make like The Gourmet Shop and serve this salad stuffed in a nice, juicy, ripe tomato. Or serve on French bread or a croissant. It’s hard to go wrong.



Filed under Dinner, Salads

6 responses to “Feaston’s Ultimate Chicken Salad

  1. Good Eater

    YUM!!! I love you mayonnaise! Can’t wait to try this.

  2. Kristie

    Thanks for the shout out to the Columbia readers. If you ever need a mayo shipment, let me know 🙂

  3. Ted

    Can you re-post the crock pot chicken recipe? It clicks through to a dead page. Thanks!

  4. michaeltbuck

    The link is fixed. Thanks for the notice. You can also find it here: https://feaston.wordpress.com/2009/02/09/make-a-chicken-last-a-week/

  5. blair

    if you have dukes how do you make it thanks for sharing.

  6. I just graduated from USC and I really miss not being able to get Gourmet Shop’s chicken salad whenever I feel like it. I can’t believe its that simple to make.

    How did Gourmet Shop prepare their chicken for their chicken salad?


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