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Author Notes: Rev Coffee Shop in Smyrna, Georgia has an "Almost Famous" chicken salad that's so good, I've justified ordering it with coffee for breakfast on several occasions.
Tart dried cranberries, almonds, and chives make it a bit more visually interesting than the most traditional version and a little less complicated that a Waldorf.
When I can't get out to Rev, I make something similar at home, starting with a bundt pan chicken, because I find that's the easiest way to get the right portion of poultry.
It takes a couple of hours to put together, and it refrigerates well for 3-4 days. —Melanie Crissey
Simply Seasoned Bundt Pan Chicken
- 1 fryer chicken, whole (4 lbs)
- 1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon flaky salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper, ground
- Pull enough aluminum foil to cover the tower in the center of a 12-cup round bundt cake pan. Smoosh it down around the base, making sure to cover the hole.
- Rinse your bird and pat her dry. Situate the cavity over the now covered tower in the center of the bundt pan and tug her legs forward a bit so she's standing up nice and tall.
- Mix the salt and pepper together in a small dish. Carefully pull back the skin on the breast and the back, just enough to rub some salt and pepper underneath. Press some butter under the skin and rub the rest on the outside, along with the rest of the salt and pepper.
- Put the whole thing in the oven and set the timer for an hour.
- To prep chicken for salad: First, remove the wings. Eat them while they're hot. (So crispy!) Wait for the rest of the chicken to cool enough to touch. Then, pull as much cooked meat from the chicken as you can, discarding skin and grisly bits. Dice or shred larger pieces. Put the hunks of chicken meat together into a large bowl, cover, and set in the fridge to chill, for at least an hour.
- To make good use of the chicken: Put whatever's left of the chicken in a large pot, cover with water, and boil to make broth. Strain, chill, portion, and freeze for later.
Cranberry Chicken Salad Accoutrements
- 1 cup celery, diced (about 4 long ribs)
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries (unsweetened)
- 3 tablespoons fresh chives, minced
- 1/2 lemon, fresh
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1 pinch flaky salt
- 2 pinches black pepper, ground
- Dollop the Duke's into a large measuring cup or small bowl. Squeeze the fresh lemon on top and quickly whisk together. Whisk in celery seeds, salt, and pepper. Taste and season further if you'd like.
- Combine celery, almonds, cranberries, and chives together in a large bowl with the chilled chicken. Pour the Duke's dressing over everything and stir together to make the salad. Taste and season.
- Chill for at least an hour.
- Serve over Bibb lettuce with sliced strawberries and oranges, or spread over thick bread for a sturdy chicken salad sandwich.