The Nightshirt Sightings, Portents, Forebodings, Suspicions

Infinite Regress Chicken Salad

I have to share with you the most delicious chicken salad ever. Behold, I just now invented it, this very evening.

Stick three boneless, skinless chicken thighs in the broiler and meanwhile saute a good sized, finely chopped shallot in some butter, with some salt. Just before the shallot is nicely browned, add a bit of crushed garlic. Remove everything from the pan before the garlic burns. Then melt another, big pat of butter in your pan and toss in a handful of sliced raw almonds. Sprinkle some salt over them, stir them around to get them nice and buttery, and saute those bad boys for a just a couple minutes, until some of the almonds start turning brown. Remove the almonds to the same bowl as the shallots, and stir together.

When the chicken thighs are nicely browned (but not overcooked–how many times do I need to tell you?!), take them out and chop them up and add them to the shallots and buttered almonds. Lastly add some mayonnaise–not too much, nor too little, but just right–along with a splash or two of liquid smoke and bit of salt (your discretion), and mix it all up nice.

Those of you who are still eating bread would enjoy this chicken salad in what they used to call a “sandwich.” I devoured mine plain, straight from the bowl I made it in, and am now sipping a martini in my bathrobe and reminiscing about how utterly delicious it was.

I know what you’re thinking: “Why the hell didn’t he go on and add some finely chopped Applewood smoked bacon to this amazing recipe?” See, I thought of that, obviously, but in my wisdom I foresaw that even a small amount of bacon would obscure the deliciously subtle osmazome of the buttered/salted almonds and shallots. That stuff’s the shit, trust me.

Here’s something, though: Those of you who know my ‘mayo chauvenism’ may be surprised to learn that I am now allowing Whole Foods brand (365) — it is just as savory as Kraft Real Mayo, and it’s actually a little creamier, which I like. Yes!–it’s a whole new era of openness. You might call it “mayonnaise Glasnost.” If I ever catch you with that other, sickeningy sweet brand, “Hellman’s,” though, I’ll send in the tanks.


I am a science writer and armchair Fortean based in Washington, DC. Write to me at eric.wargo [at]

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