Chicken Salad With Apricots

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These delicious tea sandwiches are the favorite at every tea party I have hosted to date. The chicken is baked with fresh herbs and chicken stock, which boosts the flavor and tenderness of the chicken. The red onion and celery are tradition flavors. The surprise ingredient of dried apricots gives a sweet note and makes this chicken salad unique. I learned the recipe by making it over and over again at the Mulberry Tea Room where I worked several years ago. I have many of the recipes stuck in my head. I enjoy using them for tea parties and special lunches. I never measure ingredients, I go by sight.  The chicken is topped with fresh chopped thyme, sage, kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. Chicken stock is poured over, but not covering the chicken and then baked. I chop some red onion and a stalk or two of celery, then grab a handful of dried apricots from the bag and chop 4 or 5 of them. When the chicken is finished baking, it rests for a few minutes, then chopped and cut into a small dice. Then toss the onion, celery, and apricots with the chicken to see if the amounts look balanced. I generally add less onion then celery. I don’t want to overpower the other ingredients. I then add a tablespoon of the stock that the chicken was cooked in, and give it a toss. Add the mayonnaise now a few tablespoons at a time. You want it to be coated nicely but not too heavy. Adjust your seasoning of salt and pepper to taste. For the tea sandwiches you will want thin bread. I like using white and wheat. The bread should buttered with room temperature butter, then heap a big spoonful of the chicken salad in the middle of the buttered bread and smooth it out. I like to cut the sandwiches into triangles; rectangles would be nice as well. They look so pretty on a serving platter. The crusts don’t usually go to waste; anyone helping with the cutting of the sandwiches gets to snacking and sharing with whoever’s hanging around. There always some left over salad hanging out between the crusts.

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Chicken Salad with Apricots

4 skinless boneless chicken breasts

½ -3/4 cup chicken stock

Fresh sage and thyme, chopped, enough to sprinkle over the chicken

Kosher salt and Fresh cracked pepper to taste

1 small red onion, chopped finely

2 stalks of celery, chopped finely

4-5 dried apricots, chopped

3-4 tablespoons of mayonnaise

Place the chicken in a baking dish. Top with chopped herbs, kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper, and chicken stock. Bake the chicken at 350 degrees till the internal temperature is 160 degrees. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and rest 10 minutes. Chop the onion, celery, and apricots. When the chicken is cool enough to handle cut it into a small dice. In a medium bowl add the chicken, onion, celery, apricots, 1 tablespoon of the chicken stock, and mayonnaise. Toss to coat evenly; adjust the seasoning of the salt and pepper to your taste.

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Lazy Weekend Scrambled Eggs

A few years ago my husband and I got away for a little trip to Lewis, Delaware. We stayed at a lovely bed and breakfast. It was a large old house and the new owners renovated the house from top to bottom. We ate our breakfast on the enclosed front porch. Very romantic! The breakfast we were served the first morning was southwestern scrambled eggs. It was so delicious I had to recreate it at home. I was feeling inspired so I came up with and Italian scramble as well. I call these lazy weekend scrambles. They do take a little extra time but these delicious eggs are worth it.The only thing you need to know about scrambling eggs is they are a protein and need to cook slowly so they don’t turnout like rubber.

Sothwestern Scramble
Southwestern Scramble

Southwestern scramble:
4 large eggs (organic preferred)
1-2 tablespoon of whole milk or goat milk
1 tablespoon green onion
4 tablespoon fresh corn, or frozen defrosted, cooked
3-4 tablespoon red pepper, diced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh cracked pepper, to taste
Serve with:
2 slices avocado
Fresh salsa
Blue corn chips
Chop the green onion, and red pepper. In a nonstick pan add olive oil and butter over medium heat, add diced red pepper cook 3-5 minutes, add the corn cook 1-2 minutes add green onion. In a bowl crack the two eggs and lightly beat with a fork, add the milk and lightly beat with the fork again. Add eggs, salt and pepper to the mixture. Slowly stir the eggs with a wooden spoon just till they are set. Remove from heat. Serve eggs with two slices of avocado. Serve with a small amount of salsa and a few Blue corn chips.

Fresh Salsa:
3 tomatoes, chopped
½ cup red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
Salt & pepper, to taste
Juice of ½ a lime
3 tablespoons cilantro, rough chop
Place all ingredients into a blender of choice. Lightly blend to mix ingredients. Pour into a bowl chill at least 1 hour 4 hours is best.

Italian Scramble
Italian Scramble

Italian Scramble:
4 large eggs, (organic preferred)
1 tablespoon whole milk or goat milk
2 tablespoons red onion, chopped
3-4 tablespoon sweet or mild Italian sausage, remove from casing and break into pieces
3-4 tablespoon red pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 -2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil
Toasted baguette
Put olive in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add sausage, chopped onion, and the red peppers. Crack the two eggs into a bowl lightly beat with a fork, add the milk then lightly beat again with the fork. Add the eggs into the mixture add salt and pepper. Slowly stir eggs with a wooden spoon just till they are set. Add the fresh basil, lightly stir then add Parmesan cheese. Remove from heat. Serve with warmed baguette and butter.

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