Chicken Salad on Abigail's Oven Garlic Rosemary

Chicken Salad on Abigail's Oven Garlic Rosemary

The history of the chicken salad sandwich is a bit of a mystery and just who decided to place it between two slices of bread? But at Abigail's Oven we do not need much history to know the goodness of chicken salad on our bread.

Chicken Salad on Country Loaf
Of course, the go to Country Loaf is the perfect base for this yummy sandwich. But if you are looking for a heartier taste, make it on our Rustic Wheat.
Chicken Salad on Rye

It pairs exceptionally well with our Garlic Rosemary too. Then, on our Jalapeño Cheddar there is the bit of heat or an extra crunch on Country Seed.

Perhaps most amazing is chicken salad on our dark Jewish Rye! It's clear that chicken salad and our family of  REAL™ Sourdough bread are a match made in heaven.

History of Chicken Salad

There are several stories about its origins, but the most likely explanation is that it emerged in the United States in the mid-19th century. But not always on bread, just as a cold salad.

For example, one of the earliest known recipes for chicken salad appeared in The Carolina Housewife: Or, House and Home, a cookbook published in 1847 which was written by Sarah Rutledge. Her recipe called for cooked chicken, mayonnaise, celery, and onion. It is likely that this recipe was inspired by the French dish "mayonnaise de poulet," which is a salad made with chicken and mayonnaise.[1] Rutledge, however, did not mention making it into a sandwich.

But someone did because it is chicken salad because it was mentioned as a popular lunch item for women and children, by The American System of Cookery (1847).[2]  Which suggests it was also served at picnics and other outdoor gatherings. such as the the Fourth of July 

In the early 20th century, the chicken salad sandwich began to be served in restaurants. In 1863, Liam Gray, the owner of Town Meats in Wakefield, Rhode Island, is credited with creating the first commercial chicken salad sandwich. He mixed leftover chicken with mayonnaise, tarragon, and grapes. This became so popular that the meat market was converted to a delicatessen.

It was a popular item at luncheonettes and tea rooms, and it was also served in high-end restaurants. However, Town Meats in  in mentions it in a 1863 menu. The original owner, Liam Gray,[3] "mixed his leftover chicken with mayonnaise, tarragon, and grapes." Perhaps his did not make onto bread, but it was so popular that he converted his shop to a delicatessen.

Today, the chicken salad sandwich is a popular lunch item all over the world. It can be found in restaurants, delis, and grocery stores. There are many different variations of the chicken salad sandwich, but the basic ingredients are always the same: cooked chicken, mayonnaise, celery, and onion.

Modern Versions of Chicken Salad

Here are some of the most popular variations of the chicken salad sandwich:

  • Classic chicken salad: This is the most basic version of the chicken salad sandwich. It is made with cooked chicken, mayonnaise, celery, grapes, and onion.
  • Here are some variations on the classic chicken salad sandwich:

    • Curried chicken salad: Add 1 teaspoon of curry powder to the chicken salad mixture.
    • Greek chicken salad: Add 1/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese, 1 tablespoon of chopped dill, and 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano to the chicken salad mixture.
    • Tex-Mex chicken salad: Add 1/4 cup of chopped green chiles, 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning, and 1/2 teaspoon of cumin to the chicken salad mixture.


Chicken Salad Ingredients

Here is our recipe for a delicious chicken salad sandwich made with avocado as the spread:


  • 4 slices of sourdough bread
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or spreadable avocado (see above)
  • 1/4 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and/or mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • several leaves of lettuce
  • Optional: chopped grapes, pickle, avocado, walnuts, or dill


Avocado Spread
  1. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, mayonnaise, celery, onion, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.
  2. Stir until well combined.
  3. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  4. Serve on your favorite Abigail's Oven sourdough bread.

Here are some tips for making a delicious chicken salad sandwich:

  • Use high-quality ingredients. The better the quality of the chicken, the better the taste of the sandwich.
  • Don't overmix the chicken salad. Overmixing will make the chicken salad pasty and dry.
  • Add your favorite mix-ins. Some popular mix-ins include grapes, walnuts, dried cranberries, and/or dill.
  • You can spread avocado on the bread instead of mayo or mix it right in with the chicken salad ingredients
  • Use a good quality bread. A sturdy bread like ours will help to hold the sandwich together.
We hope you enjoy your delicious chicken salad sandwich!


  1. Rutledge, Sarah. "The Carolina housewife"University of Oxford Text Archive. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  2. Crowen, T.J. (1864). The American System of Cookery: Comprising Every Variety of Information for Ordinary and Holiday Occasions. New York: T.R. Dawley. p. 405-406. hdl:2027/nyp.33433056928231.


    And remember, if you are looking for a place to get delicious sourdough bread for Sunday brunch, we are in more than 30 stores throughout Utah, at Farmers Markets in OgdenSLC DowntownMurraySo JordanDraperDaybreakProvo, and Spanish Fork. Or course, on weekdays you can always drop by The Store at the Bakery: Mon 12:00 PM-5:00 PM, Tue 9:00 AM-5:00 PM, and Wed-Fri 10:00 AM-5:00 PM, at 421 South 200 East in Spanish Fork, Utah.


    Darryl Alder

    Author: Darryl Alder lives with his wife in Riverside Lodge, which is their home, along the Provo River in Utah. He is a retired career Scouter and outdoorsman who spent many hours over a campfire using a Dutch oven and loves sharing recipes for the kitchen and the campfire alike. You'll find many of his recipes on this blog and can follow him on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter


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