A DIfferent Chicken Salad

 I Had an AMAZING weekend! Steve and Chloe were gone from Wednesday through Sunday. I got home from LAX late Wednesday and just lay around doing nothing. Thursday and Friday I pretty much did the same thing. I had some girls over Friday night for canapes and wine on my deck.
Duck Rillettes Salad Sandwich-recipe to follow!

Saturday I lounged about the pool with no kid to have to swim with or watch like a hawk. Sunday I went to Los Angeles to pick up Steve and Chloe. They were coming in around 10pm so we booked a room at the Hilton LAX because a 3 hour drive that late at night would have been too much for Chloe.

I walk into the Lobby of the Hilton and the door didn't even have a chance to close behind me when I hear "JULIE!!!"-it was my most favoritest (yes I know that's not a real word) cousin, Brian! Now remember-the last time I saw him was 2 weeks ago. Prior to that surprise meeting (in LA as well) it had been 14 years since I'd last seen him.
Chloe, Me (Julie), Brian, and Laurie
He was in need of some sleep, and I still had to check in. Thus, we decided to meet up for dinner later in the evening. We met up around 7pm, and went out for Mongolian BBQ. Brian was a little out of his comfort zone with the exoticness of the cuisine. If you've never seen Mongolian, it is a self serve kind of food.

You go in grab an empty bowl or two, and then load up on raw veggies and meats and sauces. Then you hand the bowls of raw stuff to a chef who then cooks it on a large round iron flat-topped grill without any added oil.

It is very healthy and delicious I am so proud of Brian! He loaded up a bowl ,and then sat down and ate his whole plate. We had a great conversation over dinner, then we retired to the Hotel Lounge and talked some more.

After all we still had a lifetime to catch up on. I'm sure we could have talked a lot more but Brian had an early flight and I had people to go pick up from LAX. Next time I see Brian at the Hilton, I hope Steve is with us!

So, Here is my recipe for the chicken salad that I made for my Friday Night Get-Together!

Rustic Rillettes Salad

Traditionally “Rillettes” (pronounced ree-yets) is a meat that is slowly simmered in its own fat with herbs and spices, pounded smooth, and then “potted”. The first time I tried this recipe, I was using up some leftover roasted duck; the taste and texture reminded me so much of Rillettes that I gave it the name in homage to the original dish-which is one of my favorite things to eat when I am in Paris!

 1 pound roasted duck or chicken (leftovers work best)
1-2 green onion stalks
1/3 cup of mayonnaise
1 cup red seedless grapes-halved
½ cup toasted pecans or walnuts
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the poultry in a food processor. Pulse on and off until you have a finely chopped (but not pureed) texture. 

Finely slice the green onions into rings.

Place everything in a bowl and mix gently with your hands. If the mix seems a bit dry add a bit more mayo and mix again. Adjust the flavor with a little salt and pepper. 

Chill for about an hour before serving.

Serve open faced on toasted bread or canapé style on toast points or thinly sliced apple rounds and sharp cheese.

VARIATIONS: 1) Add a little brown sugar to bring out the grape flavor. 2) Add a few blue cheese crumbles and increase the nuts to 2/3 cup for a more hearty salad. 3) Sprinkle in a pinch of cayenne pepper for a zestier bite. Melt a little Brie cheese over the top for a truly sublime experience.

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