My 5th selection for Favorite Cookbook Friday is LaBelle Cuisine (Recipes to Sing About) by Patti LaBelle with Laura B. Randolph. I received this book as a Christmas gift from my mother many years ago. This is how my collection began. Although this wasn’t the first book in my collection, it was a very early entry to my catalog.
LaBelle Cuisine was Ms. Patti’s first cookbook, first published in 1999. On the book jacket Ms. Patti writes: “From the time I was a little girl, I knew there were two things in the world I was born to do: sing and cook.” Well, if you were born on planet Earth you know Patti LaBelle can S.I.N.G. Period…. And we also learned she can burn in the kitchen too. In her book she highlights all memories of cooking for loved ones, close friends and family…. Which is what probably let to the cookbooks. And now, for more than a year everyone has been talking about her Sweet Potato Pies and her other bakery items now being sold in grocery stores. Although I haven’t tried one myself, I do know that at one point the stores could not keep the pies on the shelves. I think that is a good sign. She knows what she’s doing when it comes to satisfying the belly.
As I was looking through this book millionth time, I could not help but to get excited to try the recipes that I had not tried before. Recipes I did not think I was interested in because my palate had not known those tastes. Now I’m ready for more. I’m so glad that my taste buds have matured with me!
Some of my favorites from LaBelle Cuisine.
- Bodacious Barbecue Sauce
- Zuri’s Favorite Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Dip
- Home Fried Potatoes
- Heavenly Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Anna’s Irresistible Pound Cake
- Peanut Butter Cookies
- Company’s Coming Chicken Salad
You will understand my enthusiasm when you try today’s recipe, Company’s Coming Chicken Salad. A recipe so tasty that you won’t want to share with company. (Laughing but very serious).
Company’s Coming Chicken Salad
Raw chicken never looks good but, this is where the magic begins for this palate pleaser.
To prepare the chicken:
- 4 chicken breast halves with skin and bones (3-4 pounds)
- 1/2 onion cut into large chunks
- 2-3 celery tops and bottoms cut into large chunks
- 1/2 green bell pepper cut into large chunks
- 3-4 bay leaf
- ground black pepper
Throw in all the vegetables!
For the salad:
- shredded chicken, from 4 chicken breast halves
- 1/2 large red onion, cut into a small dice
- 2 medium celery ribs, cut into small dice
- 1/2 large green bell pepper, seeded and cut into small dice
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon dill relish
- 1 tablespoon sweet relish
- 1 tablespoon diced jalapeño
- 1/2-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2-1 teaspoon poppy seed
- 1/2-3/4 cup real mayonnaise
- 1/2-3/4 cup Miracle Whip salad dressing
- paprika (for garnish)
- leaf lettuce leaves (for garnish)
Place the seasoned chicken, large pieces of onion, celery, green bell pepper and bay leaf in a large stock pot. Add just enoug cold water to cover the chicken. Place a top on the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer the chicken for at least 20 minutes or until there are no signs of pink when pierced at the thickest part of the breast. Take the chicken breast one at a time from the pot. Remove and discard the skin and bones Shred the chicken using two forks until there are no large pieces. Transfer all the shredded chicken into a very large bowl.
In the same large bowl combine the chicken with the diced onion, green bell pepper, celery, minced garlic, relishes, jalapeño, crushed red pepper flakes and, poppy seed. Stir in 1/2 cup of mayonnaise and 1/2 cup Miracle Whip. If more is needed, add in a little at a time of each in equal amounts to desired consistency is reached. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or, even better over night.
*When ready to serve place a whole lettuce leaf on a small salad plate as a garnish. Next using a serving scoop place the nicely formed chicken salad on top of the leaf lettuce. Sprinkle with paprika and serve with your favorite crackers.