Jenny’s Royal Chicken Salad

With the upcoming Royal Wedding, I keep remembering the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer in July 1981. At the time I was  living with Jenny Thurston, a very special family friend and an Atlanta icon in the field of historic preservation. We got up incredibly early to watch the procession of carriages and the ceremony at St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

Jenny and I had spent the prior afternoon preparing goodies for the big event before heading to Reggie's British Pub for shandies. Thirty years later, I still remember watching her make her signature chicken salad. "I like the tangy-ness of the cornichons and the contrasting crunch of the almonds," she told me. This is my go-to recipe whenever there is leftover chicken in the refrigerator. With every bite, I remember my sweet and wonderful mentor who left this world far too soon!

  • 2 cups cooked chicken, diced
  • ¼ cup cornichons or dill pickles, diced
  • ¼ cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1 small rib celery, diced finely
  • ¼ to ½ cup mayonnaise, to taste
  • Salt and pepper

Combine chicken with celery, pickles, ¼ cup mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Add more mayonnaise until desired texture is achieved. Stir in almonds and serve on good bread with crisp lettuce.

Trader Joe’s sells the BEST cornichons on the market. They are grown in the Garonne Valley in southwestern France for their company.  They are sour and crisp, and sell for a very reasonable price.