For 50s ambiance, one must add fruit or nuts or both to basic chicken and celery that satisfied early generations.
This Regal Chicken Salad from Cooking for Company, published by the Farm Journal for middle American rural housewives, is the perfect example.
Farm Journal editors knew their audience, visiting farm women across the country as part of their editorial duties. They found that more and more of them were “turning to buffet style to serve refreshments for bridge and luncheon clubs.”
In Cooking for Company, they suggest their “best ever” Regal Chicken Salad as the centerpiece for a contemporary bridge and lunch club buffet of the 1960s. Here’s how it was made: For eight, you’ll need four cups of cubed chicken, a can of well-drained pineapple chunks, two cups of seedless grapes, a cup of sliced celery, and two-thirds cup of salted peanuts. The dressing consists of a cup of mayonnaise, two tablespoons each of lemon and pineapple juice, a quarter teaspoon of dried tarragon, and salt to taste.
In Bridge Table or What’s Trump Anyway? I suggest using fresh pineapple instead of canned (easy to find now-a-days in any supermarket) and pecans instead of peanuts. I like peanut butter but not peanuts in cookery! Not when there’s pecans, almonds, macadamias. walnuts to choose from.
The buffet menu for Regal Chicken Salad was rounded out with sweet potato biscuits (made ahead, frozen, baked after guests arrived), a molded salad, and dessert.
Molded Salads are # 8 and 9 on my list of “13 Classics for a Retro Ladies Bridge Lunch.”