masters chicken salad

In my best Jim Nantz voice,

“A tradition unlike any other…the Masters on CBS.”

Ahem. I wouldn’t really consider myself a golf person. I did once, however, par a hole on a par three course and, at that moment, expected bands to come marching out of the trees next to the green and the clubhouse attendees to run out with sashes and embroider a patch on my collared shirt that said, “Winner.”

I am, though, in actuality, rather bad at the sport and still can’t figure out how real golfers hit the ball from the tee on the first stroke. I use baseball rules and give myself three strikes. It’s after that when the grass suffers the blows from my club. I’m still convinced that my body can not physically torque itself to keep my arms straight, head down, and, all the while, keep my eyes on that one-inch-across white speck they call a ball.

Although I wouldn’t consider myself a golf person based on the fact that I simply can’t play, I do enjoy keeping up with the professionals and watching tournaments with my husband. And for golf nerds like him, this time of year is prime. Augusta National is saturated with the best and their fans, who most likely have been holding onto those golden tickets for the past few months tighter than their own children. The birds are chirping (I think those sounds are fake, by the way. Too perfect. Too, too perfect). The azaleas are (usually) blooming. And, surprisingly, people are paying nickels and dimes for sandwiches and drinks. Oh, yes. Their refreshments are dirt cheap. What they hey, right? It’s cool, though, and I think they’re just trying to keep some traditions alive. It’s mostly simple sandwiches, like tuna salad and pimiento cheese and things that are easy to walk around and eat in the sun.

I’ve never been to the Masters (podunk me, right), but I’m assuming that chicken salad there is probably two things: chicken. And mayonnaise. And I bet egg salad is egg. And mayonnaise. And that’s cool, that’s cool, but I wanted to spruce this (still simple) salad up. They also serve the sandwiches on plain white bread and…y’all. I just…can’t…tell you to eat plain white bread. The whole food fairy would come beat me up in my sleep tonight. So, just pick up some whole wheat and pretend.

masters chicken salad
yield: 4 cups prep time: 15 minutes cook time: 40 minutes
2 chicken breasts, bone in and skin on
2 tbsp olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup diced onion
1 celery stalk, diced
1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp yellow mustard
dash hot sauce
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped parsley

To cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 350º. Place the chicken, breast side up, on a baking sheet and coat evenly with the olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165º. After the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and tear the meat from the bones. Finely chop the chicken.
In a large bowl, add the chopped chicken, onion, celery, apple, mayonnaise, mustard, hot sauce, lemon juice, and parsley. Mix well until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Taste and add salt and pepper, if desired.

My husband and I actually stood at the edge of the green as Rory McIlroy snagged his first PGA win in Charlotte, NC. He was basically a baby and we cheered with the crowd as we watched him beat Phil and all the other old guys. But…I’m not gonna tell you who I’m rootin’ for. Wink.

Masters fans: Enjoy the weekend. Don’t get stressed. Eat a sandwich. Congratulate the winner. Swing a golf club. Have fun.

And to Masters fans and everyone else: Happy Resurrection Day Eve!