Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad
in a Choux Pastry Shell

Weekends are so precious to me! I live in anticipation of my husband arriving home after a long work week and being able to relax with him, catch up on the news, play family games and take leisurely Sunday drives... We try to fill our weekends with as much R & R as we can. In having weekends like this to play, cooking large meals often times takes second place, so I either prepare meals ahead on Thursdays and Fridays, or create simple finger foods that are healthy and boast a good protein source to keep us energized.

This simple meal eats like a snack but has all the nutrients needed to be a well balanced meal. Chicken, cranberries, almonds, finely minced onions, shredded carrots, chopped celery and minced dill. Its so simple and keeps well refrigerated till you want to fill a pastry puff. I love the beauty of Choux Pastry, it makes a wonderful casing for the chicken salad and it looks so elegant. We make these often for wedding and baby shower luncheons. If you don't want to make the pastry, this salad also tastes wonderful on squaw bread, my second favorite bread next to sour dough! I hope you try this, it's definitely yummy!

4 cups diced chicken
1 ½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
½ cup cranberries or chopped apples
½ cup Sweet Vidalia onions finely chopped
½ cup shredded carrots
1 rib celery, finely diced
½ cup slivered almonds
½ teaspoon salt
Dash freshly ground pepper
2 Tsp. Dill finely chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 dozen Choux Pastry Puffs or Squaw Bread

Combine all ingredients for chicken salad, refrigerate till ready to use.

Choux Pastry Puffs

1-cup water
1/2-cup butter (no substitutes)
1-cup all-purpose flour
1/4-teaspoon salt
4 eggs

In a saucepan, bring water and butter to a boil. Add flour and salt all at once; stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until mixture is smooth and shiny.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove puffs to wire racks. Immediately cut a slit in each for steam to escape. Cool. Split puffs and remove soft dough.