During the warmer months, Jeff and I try to squeeze in a few hiking trips. Sometimes we’d camp out and other times we’d simply go for a day hike. It all depends on location and distance. For the shorter outdoorsy excursions that we do, I like to pack up some simple and good food with us. I keep them in a small cooler in the car. Though energy bars work fine, in my humble opinion, there’s something incredibly comforting about having real food before or after a hike.
Last month we went on a day hike at the Tahquamenon Falls State Park in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. For the trip, I made a couple of chicken salad sandwiches for lunch. One with mayo dressing (inspired by Ina Garten’s recipe) and the other with basil pesto (next blog entry). The sandwiches made the perfect meal for that afternoon.
Here are the things that we will need for the chicken salad sandwich with mayo dressing:
- 1 pound of thick-cut roasted chicken breast meat from the deli section. (Next time I will roast bone-in and skin-on chicken in the oven as the original recipe suggests. I was rushing to pack for the trip since I had miscalculated my schedule that day. Hence the deli alternative to create the sandwich at the time. It worked really well! The second time I did the salad, I poached skinless and boneless chicken breast and it was a bit dry.)
- 2 celery sticks (chopped)
- ½ cup of light Mayo with Olive Oil (My friend, Leena, recommended this type a while back when I was looking for a good mayo. The suggestion worked. I like it very much.)
- ½ tablespoon of dijon mustard
- ½ tablespoon of horseradish
- Black Pepper
- Cayenne pepper powder
- 4-5 fresh green stems of chives (minced). I have chives growing in my container garden. I love its mild onion-like flavor and aroma.
- Dice the thick-cut roasted chicken breast
- In a large bowl, mix mayo, dijon, horseradish, chives, celery, pepper, and cayenne pepper powder
- Add the chicken into the mayo mixture
- Place in a container and a cooler for your picnic
- Serve on either Italian or pumpernickel bread