What to do with hot pickles? Besides eat them straight from the jar because they’re always healthy, and mighty enough to stop any jalapeño chip craving.
Well… here’s what else I do with them…
To start, here is my sister’s family secret Chicken Salad recipe. She’s perfected it (it took her a summer) and now if she’s home we pretty much force her in the kitchen to make it. I admit I have not really truly made it on my own the way she does. So I called her up to get the gist. Here it is. We decided on the name rather solemnly (may we not offend you). Let’s just say we toned it down even. I will let you know when I will be making mine. I’m salivating even now.
Emily’s (Bad Ass) Chicken Salad
1 whole chicken
1 tsp ground dill weed
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup craisins
1 or 2 hot pickles depending on size and preference
3 hard boiled eggs
10 red seedless grapes
1/2 cup ranch dressing and mayo combo
First of all you have to start with quality fresh whole chicken simmered in salt water till cooked (at or under an hour depending on the size of the bird) and cool. Shred or chop up the meat into a bowl. Add in the dill weed and chipotle powder to give it that flavor and smokey back of your mouth mild heat (depending on the powder you use and preference). You’ve really got to remember this recipe is a lot about preference and tasting as you go to get it right. In fact, Emily has never really measured or written these things down so use your taster on this. Then in a chopper (if you have one) roughly chop the almonds and craisins together, then dice up your pickles and hard boiled eggs – including the yokes and toss into the bowl. The grapes are optional but they add an additional layer of cool texture and temperature to the dish that isn’t too much even if it may sound like it. Quarter them and mix in with chicken.
Then this is the really hard part. The Mayo to Ranch ratio is critical. What makes this taste so different from standard chicken salad is the chipotle and ranch flavors – but you can really *%#! it up if you use too much. Go light because you won’t believe how bad it is if you put too much (a cardinal but sadly common chicken salad sin). Start with a 1/2 cup and fill it 2 parts ranch 1 part mayo and you’ll be safe. All the may does is thicken the ranch. There’s nothing worse than too much of the mayo/ranch. It should be just enough so that everything sticks together but should not be coated.
Actually we’ve tried this recipe leaving one of just about every ingredient out and honestly – it matters. It just is that one shade off of perfection if you leave one of these bad boys out. Even down to the grapes if you ask me. A great way to serve this is inside a halved avocado over a bed of lettuce. It makes a Jamaican boatload, but you will absolutely want that Jamaican boatload. It hardly lasts 24 hours whenever I’ve seen it around.
Vodka/Gin Pickle Martini
Simple way to use up the juice to the last drop.
4 oz favorite gin or vodka
splash of dry vermouth
1 oz (or 2) of hot pickle juice
Also I forgot to mention, but recycle those jars! Bring me back jars with or without rings and lids and I’ll take $1 off your next jar. Stay tuned for updates and more on the market itself. I have enjoyed and been so wonderfully surprised by how much fun it is to share (finally) this project I’ve been working on I guess for almost a year. It was really a treat to see so many people excited about taking home a jar. I honestly have lately had a bit of doubt about it all. Considering the millions of hidden costs of being a miniature manufacturer (more on that later as well). It’s a wonder how real food gets made anymore. Thankfully it still does, but it — ain’t no simple thang — like it was when you’d just show up in town to sell your eggs or your whatever on a street corner. Not so today.