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Autumn Harvest Chicken Salad

I believe that childhood should be magical.

I want my children to believe in Santa Claus and feel a swell of excitement when they walk into the living room on Christmas morning. That’s a feeling that gives me eager goosebumps to remember.

I want my children to eagerly await the tooth fairy and to believe that Mommy has to power to banish monsters from their room. I want my children to believe that wishes can come true.

Because I believe there is magic all around us.

I’m not talking about magic in the Harry Potter sense or even in the pulling a rabbit out of a hat sense. But magic in each of our abilities to make unbelievable things happen for each other. Magic in surprises and unexpected treats. Magic happens because we make it happen.

So, when I showed my son how to make a wish on a wishbone, and he wished for a motorcycle, I decided I would make his wish come true. And when he comes home to find the large metal motorcycle decoration hanging on the wall above his bed, I’m going to pretend to know nothing about it. Let him believe in granted wishes and a little magic.

Someday my children will reason these things out for themselves. They’ll realize that it was Daddy who meticulously scattered cookie crumbs on the kitchen table; not Santa’s sloppy eating. They’ll know it was Mommy who purchased and hung the motorcycle on the wall; not some mysterious wish genie. They’ll discover that the tooth fairy, Easter bunny, and Santa Claus don’t exist; at least not in the physical sense.

But in return, I hope they’ll learn that the spirit of giving, generosity, and hope they represent is very real indeed. We’ll teach them to share the spirit of those myths in their lives, the way we shared it with them. We’ll teach them to spread the magic.

This chicken salad is the product of the chicken leftover from making the Italian Wedding Soup broth. It’s a fantastic way to use leftover chicken, but would be totally worth cooking a chicken from scratch just to make! Sweet, savory, crunchy…magically delicious!

And when you get to that wishbone in the chicken, don’t forget to make a wish! Who knows…someone may be waiting to make your wish come true!

Autumn Harvest Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1/3 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pecan, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper

Directions

Combine all ingredients until well blended. Serve on thick, doughy slices of sourdough bread.

2 responses »

  1. This Halloween, “fairies” followed along with us to keep us safe. (And also because they’d never been trick-or-treating…) My oldest, who’s 5, is totally on to the fact that they were just white helium-filled balloons with body flasher led’s inside. But Mr. 3 just absolutely loved it. I’m going to come clean with Mr.5, but it was so sweet to see my 3 year old’s reaction when I told them there were fairies in those balloons. (I was joking at first but he was so sweet and excited I couldn’t fess up!) The fairies kept us very safe, We got a lot of comments about them, so I have no doubt everyone could see us very well. As for your recipe, this looks perfect for the left-over chicken I plan to have by the end of the week!

    Reply
  2. This sounds like a fantastic chicken salad recipe with the addition of the dried cranberries. Next time I have some leftover cooked chicken, I’ll have to whip this up.

    Reply

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