Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Up North" Cherry Chicken Salad

Here in magnificent Michigan anywhere North of the middle of the mitten is "Up North" and that's where you'll find Michiganders going Cherry Crazy each and every July at the National Cherry Festival in the charming lakeside resort town of Traverse City.

See what I mean?

At nearly every local restaurant and deli you will find some kind of Cherry Chicken Salad on the menu. It's like a Northern Michigan Summer staple. After sampling my share and with all the house-guests we have in Summer I decided it was high time for this hostess (trying to be hip) to make this at home.

Served up as a sandwich...

or piled on a plate of greens from the very first bite, this just says Summer!

This recipe is a variation of many I've found. They're basically the same with a bit of optional ingredients here and there. So here's The Hip Hostess version:


Serves 6

4 cooked & diced boneless chicken breasts

1/3 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup diced celery

1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

½ cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoon buttermilk*

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

*If you don’t have buttermilk on hand you can substitute

1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar plus enough milk to make 1 cup

*For this recipe I just added ¼ tsp lemon juice to the milk.

Optional ingredients:

1/3 cup diced apples

1/3 cup diced pears

¼ cup green scallions

¼ cup fresh parsley finely chopped


This is so easy breezy; just mix the cooked chicken, dried cherries, celery, nuts, and any optional ingredients. Add the milk and mayonnaise and toss well. Keep in the fridge until nicely chilled. This recipe can be made a day ahead, in fact it’s even better the next day. Serve as a main dish salad on a bed of fresh greens, or as a sandwich on a croissant, or whole grain bread. This also makes a super summer appetizer when served on crackers or crostini.

By the way, just wondering.... do other states use the phrase "Up North" too?


Dinner said...

Sounds fabulous! Thanks for sharing. Love the day ahead for busy, crazed moms.

Kate said...

That salad looks so good! I'll have to try it - thank you for posting the recipe!

Housewife Bliss said...

This looks yummy and perfect as I have most of the ingredients to hand.

..and just saw that I made your hip list, thank you ever so much, blushing here.

Kath' said...

Thanks a million.. I will be making this for me and my mom for lunch for sure next time we go swimming. YUMMO


Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

That sounds delicious! I grew up in Michigan, near Ann Arbor. It is a lovely state.

bridget {bake at 350} said...

Oh, this sounds LOVELY!!! Bookmarking it right now!

Debbie said...

I wanted to stop by and say hi. I just received a gift giveaway from Melissa's blog The Inspired Room. I got a pretty pink apron and tea towel. They are so lovely!

This recipe sounds so good and easy. Thank you for sharing.

I'll be back again soon.


Crissie said...

My family has a summer place Up North (about 45 mins SW of Traverse City)and it breaks my heart that I can't go every year :( - I LOVE Cherry Chicken Salad. This post made my day.

Terri said...

Thank you for the friend request on Martha's dreamers site! I love the blog and all of the aprons! I am also from Michigan and have a post about Traverse City Cherries, you will have to check it out.
I am a new follower!

coolkids said...

I just discovered you blog and was super delighted to see this recipe! I am a lover of Northern Michigan as well. We go up to Leland. Love love cherries!

Anonymous said...

That first photo is just too much! Super duper cute -

Katen said...

We have a cottage in glen arbor, by traverse city. Out of staters never know what Up North means, And I can't believe it when I hear a Michigander say they have never been up north! The recipe looks good. Cute pics