Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tea Sandwich Saturday #21 - Younkers Tea Room Chicken Salad

My theory is that you can never have too many chicken salad recipes, and the one I tried this week seems to be recommended by lots of readers on the web. It came from the old Younkers Tea Room in Des Moines, Iowa and is one of the recipes I came across while researching these old department store tea rooms.

What makes this recipe unique, I think, is its addition of sunflower seeds and Ranch flavored salad dressing, two foods I love and couldn't wait to incorporate into chicken salad! Here's the recipe as I made it.

Younkers Tea Room Chicken Salad

3 cups chicken thighs (boiled and broth saved for another use)
1 cup finely diced celery
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
1 cup prepared Ranch salad dressing
1 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon dried and minced garlic

Boil chicken thighs and allow the chicken to rest for about 10 minutes. Tear thighs into large pieces and place in food processor, pulsing until chopped but still containing some chunks of the chicken. In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken and remaining ingredients. (I started with only 3/4 cup of the Ranch dressing, questioning whether 1 full cup was really needed, but it was!) Toss well and allow flavors to meld overnight. If you eat this immediately it may taste like it needs some salt and pepper, but try to restrain yourself. Leave this overnight and the flavors of the minced garlic and the celery salt really come through the next day. Delicious and crunchy! Makes 6 servings — or a heap of tea sandwiches.

For my tea sandwiches this week, I decided to do something different and used small tart pans to cut out the rounds of (frozen) white bread. If you spray the edges with cooking spray, it will help release the bread and give you pretty and slightly flared rounds of bread.


  1. Sounds tasty, and such a clever use of the muffin tin! Love Sandwich Saturday!

  2. YUM !!!!! I love chicken salad . This one sounds so good .

  3. I agree about new chicken salad recipes always welcome! This looks great. Thanks!

  4. Nancy already said what came to my mind when reading your post. Clever idea to use the tart pan! My friend, Belle, and I have been searching for the perfect chicken salad for years. We concluded we will never find it, because if we did, we would have to stop searching (going to quaint tea rooms and restaurants). This recipe is very unique.

  5. This sounds like a delicious recipe. The chicken thighs would add more flavor than chicken breasts and I like the idea of the crunchy sunflower seeds.

    That is a nice presentation too.

  6. Everything is so lovely about this post! The gorgeous plate and the yummy sandwich with fluted bread! I lurve it!

  7. When I graduated from a small Bible College in Des Moines our graduation dinner was in the Old Tea Room - so thank you for this recipe.

  8. Oh my you know how EXCITED I am having stumbled upon your blog today...I went thru Bernideen's blog roll and I just LOVE your site!! Tea Sandwich Saturday..are you serious??!!!! So so so so cool...I have added you to my blog roll and linked up this recipe on my recipe page.

  9. Chicken salad is my favorite and my kids really like when I make their sandwiched in fun and pretty shapes too.


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