Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Theory On Recipes and Charlotte's Chicken Salad

As I see it, recipe ownership is good for one generation.  For example: let's say I pass on to you my personal recipe for Quinoa Salad.

It's a recipe I created myself, based on a recipe from the back of the EBLY Zartweissen package.  Martina and I had this incredibly wonderful salad while visiting her relatives in Hamburg in 2005 (Right, Martina?) and promptly went out and bought boxes of EBLY for ourselves.  My family loved it so much that I packed twenty boxes back to American when we left Germany.  When that was gone, I started looking for a replacement.  I'll save you the details of painful trial-and-error (including telling my friend DeAnn to make it with barley for a huge Fourth of July cookout.Yuck. Sorry, DeAnn!), and wrap it up by saying that after much trial-and-error, I discovered Quinoa to be the perfect substitute.

So.  Let's say I pass on to you my personal recipe for Quinoa Salad.  Let's say you love it.  Let's say you make it for a potluck at church and someone else loves it and asks for the recipe.  You happily pass it on, rightfully calling it "Karen's Quinoa Salad."

Get it?

So now your friend has this recipe and she makes it for, say, a baby shower.  Let's say the mother-to-be loves it (Duh. It's amazing. Of course she loves it.) and asks your friend for the recipe.  If she handles herself properly, your friend will not pass on "Karen's Quinoa Salad," but rather, "Your Quinoa Salad."

Got it?

That is, of course, unless all these friends know me.  Or unless we're talking about Judie's Lasagna, which will always and forever honor the name of Judie.  In all other cases (except where bound by some weird recipe law), I hereby declare that the duration of recipe ownership does not extend beyond one generation.  Karen has declared it, and it is


With that in mind, allow me to present to you....

Charlotte's Chicken Salad
Which Charlotte got from a major women's magazine, but following the one-generation rule, I pass to you as being Charlotte's very own.

1 (14 1/2 oz) can of low-sodium chicken broth
1 (6 oz) package long grain and wild rice (Uncle Ben's traditional)
2 C shredded cooked chicken
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 small purple onion, or to taste
Lemon-Mustard Dressing

Bring chicken broth to a boil, stir in rice and seasonings.  Return to boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes or until rice is tender.  Cool.  Stir together rice, chicken and remaining ingredients.  Chill at least 30 minutes.

Lemon-Mustard Dressing

1/4 C olive oil
1/3 C lemon juice, fresh
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp pepper

Whisk together and toss with salad.

*Charlotte likes to add Craisins and chopped pecans.

Karen's notes:
I have never made this without having everyone ask for the recipe.
I always add Craisins and chopped pecans (or slivered almonds)
I have made the rice with water and a couple of bouillon cubes.
I have used bottled lemon juice.  DON'T.
I have use fresh lime juice.
I have used red bell pepper.  Green was better.
I have (accidentally) used the 5-minute rice.  DON'T.
I have tossed the salad with the dressing the night before serving.  DON'T.

Now go forth, make Charlotte's Chicken Salad and prosper!



  1. hmm. raise your hand if you've ever passed on a recipe named after me.

    i thought not.

  2. Ha!

    Too bad I know that "your" pico de gallo is Ree's...

    Maybe you should create and market cereal, buddy.

  3. Well, I might get around to trying Charlotte's Chicken Salad, but I will have to try out one of your other recipes first, before converting. I am also a pretty good cook, you know!

    As a matter of fact, I've already pre-warned my husband that for his Father's Day dinner, I will not be using his mom's recipe (which I tweaked and made it a whole lot better), but instead, we will be having Judie's Lasagna instead. You have peaked my interest, so I will give it a chance. THEN we'll see if I should move on to the Chicken Salad, or just stick with my fave.

    Speaking of recipes, have you tried Holly's Chocolate Budino yet?

  4. Spill it, sister. If I love it (and it has two of my favorite words, so the chances are good) I will blog about it and make you famous.


  5. i am going to make the chicken salad, because it sounds delish, but i was really hoping for the recipe for quinoa salad, too.

    i have a whole container of quinoa, no idea what to do with it :)