Beach House Chicken Salad

Greetings from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

After a morning round of sunning, swimming and snoozing under the umbrella, I headed back to the house to see what I could dig up for lunch.  We’re at the tail end of a weeklong beach trip and have collectively agreed not to purchase any new groceries and instead focus on consuming what we have amassed.

Beach House Chicken Salad

  1. You know that marinated chicken that you grilled but couldn’t finish because you were also serving kale salad and grilled okra, corn, and the leftover mushroom and green bean risotto stuffed into some zucchini and eggplant that were begging to get used?  Well grab yourself a nice glass of ice water and start picking that chicken.  Two large split breasts should be plenty.  (Someone might want the leftover drumsticks later tonight.)  Remove the skin, bones and any less desirable bits.  Tear the rest into small pieces.  
  2. Now open the fridge and assess the condiment stash left by previous renters.  Half a cup of mayonnaise and a quarter cup of Dijon mustard will do just fine.
  3. Check the crisper and see what farmers market bounty you’ve failed to consume.  While mojitos were a great idea, somehow you never got around to using that mint.  And, despite having been liberal with the grilled skirt steak and homemade pizzas of nights past, you’ve still got an awful lot of basil.  Mince your herbs while pondering whether or not to take a shower.  Convince yourself that the fine film of sand will protect you from UV rays.
  4. Get another glass of water (it’s hot out there) and assess the pantry items that are spilling across the washer and dryer.  Something crunchy and something sweet would be great.  Grab a handful of roasted almonds, stick them in a plastic baggie and crush them with an empty wine bottle.  (Plenty of those on hand).  No raisins but, lo and behold, there are dried cranberries which are EVEN BETTER.
  5. Mix it all around, taste and season as you see fit.  A little balsamic and some fresh-ground black pepper can work wonders.

Your housemates will sing your praises as they roll in from the beach.  They will enjoy it on top of the leftover kale salad, as a sandwich on some slightly stale French bread, rolled up in a tortilla with some fresh tomato and, yes, straight from the bowl.  You will enjoy it on a cracker after your second trip to the beach, still in your bathing suit, standing at the kitchen counter, Campari and soda in hand, while the house dog, Obie, gazes on longingly.

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