Treasure Found: Granny Jordan’s Chicken Casserole / Salad
I’m bringing you a little treasure which I discovered buried among our belongings at the old house this past weekend. This is a recipe of Granny Jordan’s, whom I’ve mentioned here several times before – and if you haven’t tried her frozen cranberry banana salads, you’ve lived a wasted life. (Sorry to break it to you so bluntly, but its true!)
As I’ve always said, Granny Jordan was the epitome of everything that a Southern Lady should be. Kind, caring, intelligent, and always seeing to others comfort in her actions and words. From the day we met, she treated me as if I had been her granddaughter all of my life. She was the kind of person who made the world a better place just by being in it.
Granny Jordan passed about seven years ago at the age of 87. When her health was in a state of serious decline, we all knew it was only a matter of time. My husband had accepted a job offer near Atlanta and we were planning on a move soon. Granny Jordan called me a few days before she passed away. She wasted no time as soon as I answered the phone, “Christy, Live every second of every day”. I’ll never forget exactly how her voice sounded when she said that, or how much meaning lived inside those few words. She went on to tell us “I hear you’re going to be moving. You know, my house is going to be empty, you’re welcome to it”.
She passed away shortly after that and a month later, we made a temporary move to Granny’s house. That is where I really got to know her.
In the back of her pantry sat several extremely well organized file boxes filled with index cards and folded pieces of paper. All of which were contained handwritten recipes. Being the incredibly organized person that she was, she had written on each card the date she had made it, who she had served it to, and what she thought of it by using good, very good, or bad.
Realizing what a treasure these files were, I set out trying to preserve them. I spent a great deal of our time living there typing up all of her recipes and including her handwritten notes with each one. Those are some really great recipes, most of them classic Southern dishes that you just don’t see anymore. I made up a cookbook which included Granny’s recipes and those of my grandmothers, mothers, and myself. It took me the better part of a year to finish. My intent was to print them out and give them to every family member as Christmas gifts.
This backfired on me, though. As a young mother (and a college student to boot), by the time I got finished with the cookbook it was so large that I couldn’t afford to have them printed for everyone. I ended up having to explain this and folks were happy to step up and pay for the printing of their own, my gift ending up being the work I put into it.
But today is Granny’s day because this past weekend, as I was going through boxes looking for yard sale goods, I came across a small bundle of cards and folded papers held together by a rusty paper clip. Somehow, these little fella’s hitchhiked back to Alabama with me. Opening them up, this was the first one I came across and I knew I had to make it soon. Thank you, Granny. Seeing as how it was your recipe, we weren’t surprised by how delicious it was.
Before we get started, here is the original slip of paper I got this recipe from:
If you’re detail oriented, you’ll notice that she called for 1/3 cup of cracker crumbs and I left those out because I overlooked it.
Feel free to do that if you like! Granny won’t mind either way.
And here is Granny Jordan:
Nell Jordan in her high school graduation portrait.
She was every bit as kind and wonderful as she appeared to be, too.
Y’all know we’re about to make something wonderful now, don’t ya?
I had never made this before so you’ll have to bear with my having three different pics to show all of the ingredients. I tend to be a speed reader so I only got half the stuff out for the first shot and had already started making it when I realized I had left things out.
So, in a three part photographic set, here are the needed ingredients:
Ritz crackers, Mayo, onion, two boiled eggs, celery, and a chicken, chopped up.
I normally purchase a whole fryer and cook it for recipes like this but I got a wild hair (as I often do) and wanted to make this the day of the yard sale so I was a bit too tired to be stewing a chicken. I went out and purchased a whole rotisserie chicken instead.
It just cost about a dollar more and I figure one of Granny’s recipes is worth it.
You’re also going to need a can of cream of chicken soup
And some potato chips .
Chop up your onion and your egg.
Mama says I don’t chop my onion fine enough.
I don’t feel like chopping my onion finer though so…
Chop up your celery, too. Now we’re ready to toss it all in a bowl!
Onion, celery, eggs…
Chicken, mayo, soup…
Excited four year old who has been waiting patiently for her chance to help to stir it all together.
Hey, it’s summer. I’m seeing a lot more of my kids so you’ll be seeing a lot more of my kids .
This is what it looks like all stirred up.
Spread that into an 8×8 casserole dish and top with crushed chips. Bake at 350 for twenty minutes.
Serve hot. Refrigerate leftovers and serve cold on a bed of lettuce with Ritz crackers.
We ate some hot and it was delicious, but I have to say, I LOVE This cold!
I’m quoting myself today!
Each day when you wake up you have a choice. You can have a good day or you can have a bad day. So you might as well have a good one. ~Me
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