Beyond the Grave Chicken Salad

Did y’all hear about the Coca-Cola heiress who got kicked out of the Junior League for making chicken salad with dark meat? It’s an urban legend in Atlanta, but every Southern woman worth her salt has a tried and true recipe for chicken salad. My personal favorite used to be served in the dearly departed tea room at Maas Bros. Department Store in St. Petersburg, Florida. I’ve tasted some great versions over the years, but none greater than the one I sampled at the wake of a friend’s father in Dalton, Georgia. It inspired the recipe for Beyond the Grave Chicken Salad in Little Bitty Lies.

Beyond the Grave Chicken Salad Recipe

5 lbs. chicken breasts
2 quarts water
parsley sprigs
1 large onion, quartered
1 tsp. seasoned salt
2 chicken bouillion cubes

In large pot, bring water and seasoning to boil, add chicken, lower heat and simmer 40 min. Remove from heat, cool. Shred chicken and refrigerate.


1/2 cup bottled Italian salad dressing
1 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1-1/2 tsp. celery seed
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
dash paprika

Blend well together.

For salad:

Toss shredded chicken with one cup of dressing and let stand at least one hour to marinate.

Combine remaining dressing with:
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp. honey

Add to chicken and mix well. May add canned water chestnuts, blanched almonds or chopped pecans.