When I lived in STL I loved treating myself to the occasional trip to Straub’s Market. I lived near the one in the Central West End and while it is over priced and uppity, they had great stuff and I love any place that is locally owned. I remember going there when my brother was a WashU Law School student and I got a really good grainy mustard at Straub’s during a visit. That mustard sat in my parents’ pantry for years because I deemed it too special to actually eat. Straub’s is known for their chicken salad and while I am not usually a mayo fan, unless it is a tiny smear on my BLT, I have to admit, their chicken salad is what is up. I found an old STL Today article where they re-created it. Their recipe calls for flavoring and cooking the chicken, but I went with a rotisserie chicken because it doesn’t get any easier than that and it was just as delicious. The recipe is so simple, it is almost laughable. I like that it doesn’t have fruit in it (grapes) or nuts. It’s just the good stuff. It was also my last meal the day I moved. I watched two men haul my stuff into a truck while I ate my Straub’s chicken salad with a roll of crackers and had a good cry. Tears of sadness, tears of happiness, all the tears. That said, certain foods always remind me of different times and places in my life.
To go with the chicken salad, I made an edamame salad that my Trader Joe’s in Indy recently served as the sample. It was a customer inspired sample and I was a little disappointed that I had not thought of the flavor combination first. The salt from the feta and the sweet from the dried cranberries make the perfect pair.
The trees in the neighborhood near Forest Park.
Winnie’s visit to Forest Park as a pup
STRAUB’S FAMOUS CHICKEN SALAD
Recipe via STL Today and tweaked by me
1 rotisserie chicken
½ cup mayo (I eyeballed this until it was the right consistency)
1¾ to 2 tsps lemon juice
¼ tsp celery seed
a pinch of salt
If you have a food processor with a shredding blade, cut the chicken into 1- to 2-inch chunks and shred in the food processor. If you do not have one, shred the chicken as finely as possible, and cut into 1-inch lengths.
Place the chicken in a large mixing bowl and add the mayo, lemon juice, celery seed, salt, diced celery and white pepper. Stir and refrigerate for at least one hour.
TRADER JOE’S INSPIRED EDAMAME, CRANBERRY, FETA SALAD
Follow the instructions above. Yes, it really is that easy.