Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mom's disappearing chicken dip

Happy Groundhog's Day!  In case you haven't heard, we're in for an early spring this year.  Fine by me, but I'm a little bummed that the latest winter storm turned out to be quite a rainy dud.  Chicago dwellers, I'm a little green knowing how much snow you've gotten in the past day :)  What's that?  No one else shares my view?  Shocking... Though Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel certainly got excited over thunder snow.  (You must watch that video!)

Anyway, to kick off Super Bowl treat week, it's only fitting that I start by posting an recipe for an appetizer, something for football fanatics and casual party-goers to nibble on during the first half.  Because if there are any rules about game day foods, it's that utensils should be reserved for pre-game and half-time refueling.  Hands are man's greatest tools, thus making dips totally clutch during intense plays.  So, there was no question about what recipe I was going to make and write about -- my mom's chicken dip!

This is no ordinary appetizer.  [insert superhero music here]  It is the stuff of legend, literally.  This chicken dip has the power to turn even the most disciplined person into an addict.  I can't remember when my mom first made it, but she said the recipe came from a coworker before she tweaked it a bit.  We would beg my mom to make this -- I'm talking obnoxious pleading.  The kind of whining that parents absolutely loathe.  The kind that turns one syllable words like "please" into "puh-leeeeeeeze!"  She'd make a batch of this and serve it with crackers to the family for a weekend movie treat.  Without fail, leftovers would never make it back to the fridge.

Though we've always loved it, the legend grew when my mom served up a double dose of it at my 16th birthday party.  In western PA, summer birthday and graduation parties are known for two things: 1. Tons of food, and 2. Volleyball.  The latter was a huge hit in the front yard, and you know the former was true since my family was hosting.  Dishes of pulled pork, baked pastas, salads, crudite, cookies and a cake covered the tables in our house, but one thing turned out to be the hit -- the chicken dip.

A friend of mine, Andrew, sat down at the kitchen island when he first arrived and chatted with my mom and a few others.  Don't you know that the dip was right in front of him, so he asked what it was.  Two hours later, Andrew had devoured an entire bowl (containing one batch) of the chicken dip and was working on a second.  Even with my moms occasional warnings that he was going to make himself sick, he kept going.  Kid hadn't even touched the other food and was still so happy he looked like he had won the lottery.  Word spread around the party about the chicken dip and it disappeared quickly, but Andrew didn't give up his seat the entire night.  For the remainder of my high school career, chicken dip was a staple at gatherings of all kinds, and occasionally my mom would make a batch of chicken dip just for Andrew.

This dip is so quick and easy it's almost wrong.  Three ingredients.  All are basic pantry/fridge staples.  But don't be fooled by it's simplicity.  Something magical happens when everything comes together.  What's that saying?  "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts."  Whoever said that must have had this chicken dip.  And it goes with, well, anything!  Crackers, vegetables, pretzels... pretty much anything savory that you'd like to dip.  The cheese is smooth and the chicken is so tender... mm!  I definitely should've made a double batch of this because it's not going to last long.  At least I have it to look forward to for lunch today :)

One Year Ago: Sour cream pancakes (with blueberries!)

Mom's Chicken Dip
-serves 1 to 10

A few notes: If you like your dips on the chunky side like I do, beat for less time; for a smoother more uniform spread, beat for additional time.

1 (12.5-ounce) premium chunk white chicken (I used Tyson)
1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, room temperature
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise

In a medium bowl, beat ingredients together with an electric mixer until thoroughly combined.  Serve with veggies, crackers, pretzels, and any other kind of dipping treat.  Store, covered, in refrigerator for up to 5 days.


  1. I'll try not to eat all of it by myself.

  2. I think I'll make this for Sunday! Also nice to see the thunder snow made the blog! Haha!

  3. Can't wait to hear how quickly it disappears :) Also, I'm trying to spread the glory of thunder snow...