I first had these delicious Chicken Salad Sandwiches at my daughter’s wedding shower. Her in-laws were the directors of a Christian conference center and Janice (her mother-in-law) would use this simple recipe to feed large crowds. I have since adopted it as one of my own to use whenever I am doing a large event whether it’s a shower, a women’s tea or a seminar that includes lunch. It’s simple and can be made the day before. At the end of the recipe I have included some “how to” information for those who are planning a large event, as well as what we serve along with this sandwich for a tasty lunch that blends well together. You will also find photos, as wells as, a downloadable shopping list to make your event planning simple. Enjoy!
4-5 pounds Chicken Breast or 4-5 large cans of Chicken Breast
¾ jar Best Food Mayonnaise (30 oz.)
2 Boxes Uncle Ben’s Long Grain & Wild Rice
1-6 oz. bag Ocean Spray Craisins or Fresh Grapes (quartered)
18 oz. can Cashew pieces
Celery (about ½ the head or bunch of celery)
30 Croissants or 30 Oroweat Honey Wheat Sandwich Thins
I prefer fresh, not canned chicken. Wash chicken breast in cold water and add to a large pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling turn it down to a simmer (just a light boil—not a rolling boil so that the chicken does not get tough). Cook 30-40 minutes. As soon as the chicken can be shred with a fork it is ready. If it is still pink in the middle it needs to cook longer.
Set the seasoning mix aside from the package of rice to use later. Cook the rice according to the package directions minus the seasoning mix. Allow to cool.
Mix together the seasoning mix and Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise. Next add the shredded chicken, rice, celery and Craisins to the mayo/seasoning mix and toss until well mixed. (See helpful hints below.)
This can be made the night before and kept in fridge. Add cashew pieces (and grapes if so desire) just before serving. Enjoy!
Helpful Hints for Large Events:
- If I am getting ready for a large event, which will take place on a Saturday, I cook the chicken and rice on Thursday evening and refrigerate until ready to assemble on Friday.
- Although I prefer using the fresh grapes, if I am hosting a large event I use the Craisins for ease since the fresh grapes and cashews need to be mixed in just before serving and there is no time for that on the day of the event.
- Since so many are allergic to nuts, I simply serve the cashews in a bowl and allow the ladies to add the cashews themselves if they so desire.
- For ease, and since I hate soggy bread, I divide the chicken salad into individual little 4-oz cups with lids. These are easy to keep in the refrigerator and just minutes before serving the lunch we simply add the chicken salad cups to the lunch container. This also helps keep the chicken salad at the proper temperature. The 4-oz containers are the perfect serving size for the Oroweat Sandwich Thins.
- Our lunch for the event usually includes a bag of Lay’s potato chips, an apple, a cookie, a little mayonnaise packet, along with a pre-packaged cutlery set which includes a napkin, fork, knife, spoon, salt and pepper, and we like to add a chocolate mint as a little special treat. All of these items are included in the Shopping List for Janice’s Chicken Sandwiches.
- To make lunch super easy and efficient the day of the event—we usually have 3 or 4 women who help to quickly assemble the lunch containers just a few minutes before lunch. (For a crowd of 50 this takes about 15 minutes.) Besides what is listed above we also add to the lunch container a piece of lettuce, the Oroweat Sandwich Thin and the chicken packet.
- Then the hungry women simple come through the line. They grab a drink, the lunch container and some cashews if they so desire, which keeps the line moving quickly.
- The above recipe serves 30 so double or triple depending upon the size of the event.
- I’ve also used this recipe overseas where I could not purchase Uncle Ben’s Long Grain & Wild Rice. I simple cooked up some long grain and wild looking rice and for the sauce mix which uses the seasoning packet from the Uncle Ben’s box I doctor-up the mayonnaise with various spices, such as, parsley, celery salt, garlic powder, poultry seasoning and pepper to taste.
It’s as simple as that! We get compliments every time we serve this lunch. Of course, it is a great lunch that can be served more formally as well. Enjoy!