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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Fall Tea Party

Invitation to tea
Invitation to tea

I have always enjoyed a good hot cup of tea. My Mom and my Grandmother were Scottish and I believe it was in their blood! My Grandmother came to live with our rather large family when I was about 5 years old. We were a family of seven children Mom and Dad, and Grandma made ten. Our home was very tiny even though it was three stories all the rooms were very small and there was one bathroom to share. Mom and Grandmother always drank hot cups of tea sitting at our kitchen table and talking. I loved the idea of that even at five years old. Mom served us kid’s hot tea in the morning with our breakfast and again in the evening. My love of tea has lasted through the years and I have enjoyed Sitting at my own kitchen table talking to girlfriends over steamy cups of tea and yummy little tea treats. In the year 2000 I had just recently returned to the United States with my own little family from living in England for eighteen months. I met lots of my Scottish relatives. Some live in England and some in Scotland. It was such a wonderful experience that I will treasure forever. After I had settled in to my new home I decided that I wanted to have tea parties for each of the seasons. I started with Christmas it has always been my favorite holiday. I invited my Mom, Sisters, Sister-In-Laws, Aunts, and good Friends. The parties started out with seven that could attend that year. We had the best time preparing the little tea sandwiches, sausage rolls, quiche, and of course lots of little desserts. As the years passed we added tea parties at each of the seasons. By 2013 our little group that started at seven ladies grew to 30. At this point we decided to call the Christmas Tea a Christmas party. My Mom and my Aunt have both passed away and we miss their presence at our teas as well as every day. I have been longing for one of those small teas again so this past weekend I had a Fall Tea Party. I invited my sisters, and sister-in-laws, and my two dearest friends. My sisters Beverly and Carol jean, and my sister-in-law June decided to come the night before for a big girl’s slumber party. We had the best time preparing the food for our tea party. Carol jean brought her favorite Royal Albert china and made a beautiful flower arrangement for the table. Bev, June, and I prepared the food, scones, and desserts. We watched Hallmark movies had a glass of wine and just enjoyed each other’s company. By 2:00 pm the next day the rest of the guest arrived and we had the best tea time ever.

This is  a quilt that June made.
Bev on the left June on the right holding the quilt that June made

Favors I made for the girls
Favors I made for the girls
Carol jean
Carol jean
Carol jean's flowers
Carol jean’s flowers
Our beautiful tea table
Our beautiful tea table
Tea table
Tea table

 

Tea and treats
Tea and treats
Tea and treat time with my girls
Tea and treat time with my girls

Tea Party Menu:

Good quality loose black tea

Freshly baked scones with

Homemade lemon curd

Freshly whipped cream

Strawberry Jam

Mini quiche

Sausage rolls

Spinach balls

Chicken salad tea sandwiches

Cucumber tea sandwiches

Turkey, sharp cheddar, cranberry sauce, with spring mix tea sandwiches

Fall leaf sugar cookies

Millionaire shortbread

Tiny lemon and cherry pies topped with fresh whipped cream

Mini cupcakes in assorted flavors

Chocolate truffles

Wine

I will share these recipes over time with you.

Thanks for stopping by!