I love picnics. Honestly, there’s not much in this world that brings me more joy than a picnic. Except maybe a wine festival. Or the two combined! …I’ll save that for another time.
My friend turned 31 this week, and to celebrate, she had a picnic at a nearby park. I might have startled her with my enthusiasm, but she invited me all the same. Now when I say nearby, I mean reasonable driving distance, because NOTHING in Hampton Roads is actually “nearby.” You might have friends that live in Hampton, just two towns over, but it takes at least an hour of interstate driving to get there. Notwithstanding rush hour. Anyways, our picnic. These are the recipes I used (click on the title and go to where the recipe is from):
2 split (1 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on (1 1/2 pounds)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup walnuts halves
1/2 cup good mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves, divided
1 cup green grapes, cut in ½
(I only ever take the ingredients and mix em all together to make chicken salad.)
White Wine Sangria
•1 Bottle of white wine (Riesling, Albarino, Chablis, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc)
•2/3 cup white sugar
•3 oranges (sliced) or 1 cup of orange juice
•1 lemon (sliced)
•1 lime (sliced)
•2 oz. brandy (optional)
•1/2 liter of ginger ale
(Again, just mix together. Order doesn’t REALLY matter.)
I used dried tarragon leaves instead of fresh ones because…well, who can find fresh tarragon leaves? And I was running late. On the subject of grapes: Fruit is key in chicken salad recipes. It is my favorite food to bring to picnics, and I either put grapes or cranberries in it. Mayo/sour cream to chicken ratio is also key, though much trickier. Often times I’ve made chicken salad and had to add more mayo after eating one serving. Somehow the chicken soaks it up. Anyone have this strange problem?
Anyway, the chicken salad turned out great, even with my shotty measuring and dry tarragon.
The sangria is DELISH. I might make it every weekend. Way too easy and so good! Here it is simplified, if recipes are just too complicated for you (I get that): juice one orange, one lime, and one lemon. Chop them up and throw them in. Put in one bottle of white wine (I used Reisling) and two shots of brandy (I used those tiny airplane bottles). Then poor in about 2.5 cups of ginger ale and YUM.