Whenever I have a tea party, I like to set a pretty table with flowers and a variety of teacups and plates. While I'm at it, I also try to serve the food in ways that play up the "girliness" of it all. Here's an example in the photo below.
A chicken salad with fresh fruit which I served in a pretty teacup. Why put it on a simple plate as if a tea party was any old occasion? It's not! :)
I serve it along with several other items such as a quiche or mini frittatas, two or three kinds of finger sandwiches, sometimes a green salad or fruit platter, and of course, scones are always on the menu. That's all before I bring out desserts, but let's get back to the chicken salad for now...
This is probably one of my favorite chicken salads, and if you'd like to make it, well I'm happy to share the recipe. It's a simple recipe at heart but with a few little additions that make it quite special. Feel free to vary the ingredients a bit if you wish (as I often do).
In a large bowl, place about 2 cups of cooked and cubed chicken breasts, cooled. Add 1 to 2 stalks of celery (chopped), and 1 chopped apple. I use the packaged fresh apple slices from the grocery store for added convenience and chop several slices. However, if you're slicing your own apple, be sure to first mix the chopped slices in a small bowl with at least 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown (that's another reason why I like the pre-sliced ones, they don't turn brown). Then add to the bowl with the cubed chicken.
Add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of mayo. I've never measured the mayo so this is an approximate amount. You should start with less and increase the amount until you're happy :) with how it all looks. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
While it's in the fridge, take out 2 crunchy granola bars. I use Nature Valley roasted almond or simply honey roasted. Use whatever brand you like, as long as it's crunchy. Then, crush them inside a ziplock bag using a rolling pin.
When you're ready to serve the chicken salad, gently mix half of the crushed granola bars in the salad and 1 cup of drained mandarins. Then, serve the salad in either a bowl or individual teacups (it should make about 5 or 6), sprinkle the remaining crushed granola bars on top and serve immediately.
You could add all kinds of fruit such as seedless grapes (green or red), pineapple, kiwis, strawberries, as well as skip the granola bars and throw in some sliced almonds instead. The variations are just about endless.