Super Summer Salad Saturday

Summer – how hot is it? It is so hot trees are running around looking for shade; the hens are laying hard cooked eggs, the melt time for a Popsicle is 20 seconds…

With this in mind, at this time of year, I cook as little as possible.  Salads, sammies, smoothies – you name it. In the South, we love our cold plates: tuna or chicken salad with sides of pickled beets, tater salad, coleslaw, bean salad, macaroni salad, sliced fresh from the garden tangy tomatoes – I keep bowls of layered salad, chicken salad, five cup salad, marinated veggies (see blog on Quickles) all through the summer.

A lifesaver to me this time of year is my eight quart stainless steel Presto pressure cooker. I grew up with these being used and have no fear of them. I respect them and know how to treat them and in return, they are good to me. When chicken breasts go on sale, I will usually buy about 20 pounds at one time. I rinse off, and do two cookings in my pressure cooker. In about 30 minutes, I have cooked all that chicken. I purchase with the skin on, bone in for best flavor. Into the cooking water I add some celery, onion, salt, freshly ground pepper, chopped parsley. When the chicken has cooled, I pull it out and de-skin and debone, then put into freezer bags of two cups each. The rich broth is strained and frozen for future use. The cooked chicken can be used for future casseroles, salad additions, and my famous chicken salad. My mama taught me how to make this. Again, we go with the simplest is best policy: no grapes, cranberries, nuts, pineapple – good quality simple ingredients. To make enough for my husband, inlaws, folks at work and church, and for several meals and sammies, I use 3 pounds of whole chicken breast. This recipe makes a lot. Common sense will tell you how to break it down.

Celia’s Chicken Salad
Chicken breast, cooked, de-boned, skin off, and shredded
Hellman’s Mayonnaise – 1 cup, more if needed
3 stalks Diced celery
A few finely diced sweet gherkins or,
2 TBS sweet pickle relish
ground mustard to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Put shredded chicken into large bowl. Add celery, pickle, good heavy sprinkle of ground mustard, and a couple of tablespoons of the chicken broth. Add mayonnaise. Using your hands, mix all ingredients well. Mess but the best way. I use those thin disposable plastic gloves. The chicken will be tender enough it should basically just all blend together with the other ingredients. Wait about 20 minutes and taste. Adjust seasonings. Add salt, pepper, more pickle, celery, mayonnaise as needed. I personally like a lot of diced celery and about a tablespoon of pickle added. That’s it! Put into sealable container and refrigerate. Use for cold plates, stuffed tomatoes, sammies, bribes, etc.

chicken salad sandwich

Layered Salad – Classic Recipe
3 cups torn lettuce
1/2 shredded carrot
1 medium Vidalia, red, or equivalent in scallions, chopped
1 medium cucumber. chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
1 cup frozen small green peas, thawed
1/2 Hellman’s mayo
1/4 cup buttermilk ranch dressing
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheese
3 tbs. crumbled cooked bacon

In a 3 qt. trifle or deep bowl, layer ingredient, first ingredient into the bottom of the bowl, etc. Stop after you add the green peas. Mix mayo and dressing and spread over top of ingredients, going to the edge of the bowl and sealing. Add cheese and bacon. Cover and chill several hours before serving. OPTIONS: alternate toppings are freshly grated parmesan cheese, crumbled feta cheese, toasted sunflower seeds, toasted almonds, cooked chicken breast. The chicken breast would be one of the items layered into the salad  The beauty of this salad is that you can use what items you like, more or less of them, make in a deep dish or spread out on a 9×13 dish.

layered salad


Five Cup Salad (not really five cups of stuff)
1 cup (11 oz. can) mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup (11 oz. can) crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup sour cream
1/2 chopped maraschino cherries
1/2 cup freshly grated or thawed grated coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. I save the mandarin oranges for last and gently fold in.Cover and refrigerate for several hours before serving. Serves about 6, so increase as needed. Variations: If desired, substitute half sour cream with half whipped cream, or Cool Whip to reduce the tartness of the sour cream. I personally like the tartness of the sour cream. Add more coconut, pecans, cherries to your own taste.

Five Cup Salad

30 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bernice
    Jul 20, 2013 @ 21:05:18

    Great recipes! I can use them for my lunch! I tried to comment on you quickles but for some reason the comment would not work. But I did pin it. I never used a pressure cooker and am one of those ppl who are afraid of them! We had some brutally hot days. But then a storm came through and now it is cooler about 78.


    • kanzensakura
      Jul 20, 2013 @ 21:38:09

      Using a pressure cooker just requires common sense and being care – like driving a car! I was looking to replace an old aluminum one I had inherited a year ago and went to my wonderful Amazon and get the 8 and 6 qt stainless steel ones for cheaper than anywhere else around. The instructions were basic, careful, clear. Anyone who had never used one would have no problem. It saves so much time and energy – makes a killer potroast in 30 miuntes! I hope you liked the quickles. Our weather has finally cooled but I’m still going to use my PCs because they are so quick and easy. I have a huge pressure canner that I also use to cook large batches of stew in as well as using to can. Do some research and see what you think.


  2. gpcox
    Jul 28, 2013 @ 05:39:34

    This all looks super interesting – and tasty!


  3. kanzensakura
    May 24, 2014 @ 10:39:51

    Reblogged this on kanzen sakura and commented:

    Hot weather is upon us. I posted this last July and am bringing back in time for Memorial Day picnics and the lazy hazy days of summer.


  4. Bernice
    May 24, 2014 @ 10:46:06

    Thanks for reblogging! Since your first posting I have gotten a pressure cooker but have been so busy this winter working that I have not used it – yet. But now I have a recipe to quickly cook chicken so I will need to try it out!


    • kanzensakura
      May 24, 2014 @ 10:54:08

      I will get chicken breasts, depending on your time element, either with bone or boneless when on sale. I’ll pressure cook, cool, debone and then pack into two cup measurements (either container or freezer bag) to keep on hand for quick chicken salad, casseroles, or to season for tacos, bbq’d chicken for sammies, top salads, etc. I usually invest a morning or afternoon for this activity. it is well worth the time, effort, and savings. they put so many safety features on them nowadays, they really aren’t scary anymore.


      • Bernice
        May 24, 2014 @ 12:33:13

        That is a wonderful idea. I like the ability to make a large batch of chicken ahead of time for a variety of potential recipes!


        • kanzensakura
          May 24, 2014 @ 15:44:22

          It truly is a good time and savings investment. I cannot tell any difference in the thawed chicken and freshly cooked chicken. and it beats the heck out of canned chicken! There is a recipe for “Asian” or “Chinese” slaw that uses the seasoning packet from Ramen oriental flavor, making a dressing from it. I add chopped chicken to it to expand it into a light meal and the seasoning mix is great, along with a bit of fresh ginger. Date: Sat, 24 May 2014 16:33:16 +0000 To:


    • kanzensakura
      May 24, 2014 @ 10:59:54

      I have also since changed my comment options. You weren’t able to comment on the Quickles post. Sunomono is one of my favorites for summer and I have it posted in a couple of places. But you can get the basic recipe by googling. steamed brown rice and a small bowl of sunomono makes a good lunch for me.


  5. Let's CUT the Crap!
    May 24, 2014 @ 11:46:28

    I used to have a pressure cooker but once the seal went on it, I never replaced it. It was magic in a pinch.
    These salads are Grrrrr-eat. Thanks for sharing. I always used jarred mustard in my salads. I like the idea of dry. Another good thing I learned today. 😀


  6. Willy Nilly
    May 24, 2014 @ 15:12:47

    Well…Like we say here in Bama; “Yeppir Buddy!” 🙂


    • kanzensakura
      May 24, 2014 @ 15:35:21

      I reposted this from last July to get an early start. It was brutal up this way last year. I have friend from Jasper. LOL, I wrote a post about my aunts’ visit for a nice proper luncheon years ago in Jasper and posted the retro recipe for Watergate Cake…and about the foray that ensued. I went to college in Nashville and had several university mates from the Jasper/Cullman area. Date: Sat, 24 May 2014 19:12:50 +0000 To:


      • Willy Nilly
        May 24, 2014 @ 16:03:04

        Brings back a lot of memories from Florida as well. My grandmother was an old school Southern Belle (b. 1896) She was full summer protocol in food, dress, and entertainment. When she abandoned me for her reward in the great beyond, we couldn’t quite replicate her summer agenda but we still have great memories. We ate refrigerated fried chicken, sweet tea and those salads were a part of every meal. Yeppir Buddy! we had breakfast salads as well. Usually, an ice cold grapefruit was the center piece. Well, gotta go..Willy is hungry now 🙂


        • kanzensakura
          May 24, 2014 @ 16:18:10

          ho yeah – the fruit salad is an excellent breakfast. All us female family members did the debutante thing and all members at some point, went through cotillion school. cold fried chicken was also a breakfast item. Years ago, I had started a new job and was sitting at my desk munching on leftover bbq and rice for breakfast. One of my co-workers walked past then reversed and looked in and said, are you Philipino? that looks like what I had for breakfast yesterday. I looked at her and drawled out, do I look Philipino? we had a good laugh. Soon it will be tomato, okra and corn season. cold fried okra and a tomato will take it’s place at the breakfast table. My papa used to make a radical bread pudding from leftover hushpuppies and peaches….in addition to his usual killer cobbler. I just love being Southern and having survived Cotillion School. but southern as I am, I refuse to use Duke’s mayonnaise….no way. Date: Sat, 24 May 2014 20:03:09 +0000 To:


  7. FlaHam
    May 24, 2014 @ 16:19:37

    Kanzen, my mouth is watering so bad I may drown. I love a good chicken salad, and my wife makes one, but I am willing to try others. Thank you for keeping me on edge just before dinner LOL LOL. Take care, Bill


    • kanzensakura
      May 24, 2014 @ 16:21:30

      Always happy to help out with the drools…. 🙂 Date: Sat, 24 May 2014 20:19:39 +0000 To:


    • kanzensakura
      May 24, 2014 @ 20:18:00

      Your wife may make similarly. I don’t put a lot of stuff in mine, simple and using good fresh quality ingredients. People have followed the recipe precisely and said, mine doesn’t taste like yours. Usually because they don’t use Hellmsns mayo or dill pickle, don’t use the dry mustard or add enough celery. During hot time wedding season, I probably make 700 plus pounds of it ordered and paid for by folks for the reception or a shower. Holidays add another 500 plus pounds for parties and recetions. My chicken salad is well known. Other people at different order my fried chicken, banana pudding, and rum cake. By the end of June, I will have made enough to buy a new computer and stop working on this wretched tablet. But the fruit salad is healthy, I promise!


  8. T Ibara Photo
    May 24, 2014 @ 20:32:24

    This looks delicious 🙂


  9. SirenaTales
    May 24, 2014 @ 21:55:13

    Love the recipes and the convo above, including your Southern style memories…haven’t used a pressure cooker, but you do tempt me. Thank you! xoxo


    • kanzensakura
      May 24, 2014 @ 23:46:19

      They are real time savers….tender wonderful pot roast in 30 min. For example. The new ones have a ton of safety festures and alwsys a good assortment of recipes you can build on. Because of quick cooking time, they save energy as well. I have a smallish 8 qt, 12 qt and the huge pressure canner which easily cooks 15 lbs of chicken breasts. In the fall, i use it to make a huge batch of Brunswick stew and then a batch of my great grandmother’s vegetsble soup to have on hand, tucked away in the freezer for cold months ahead.


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