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LUSH GRAPES…and the end of summer

August 31, 2011

Summer is trying to leave, but not without a fight. My piece, “Lush 2” depicted below is the muse for the crisp chicken salad with red grapes recipe. Chicken salad is eaten throughout the year, but nestled on a bed of arugula with crisp red grapes sends one’s senses into summer territory.

“Lush 2” is from my series where I abstract words and insert an object (usually realistically rendered) in the piece, an object that the word could describe. The actual letters “L-u-s-h” are in the  piece, and even though I have done another “Lush” with grapes before, (green grapes actually) I chose the reddish-purple tones of grapes for the entire piece in this one. There is also copper metallic leaf in the piece, the bronze-orangey hues complement the purple and red tones.  The word “lush” truly describes the succulent, fleshy juicy grapes.

Grapes pair up with chicken for this salad– great with greens(arugula or mixed greens), on a sandwich or with crackers.  You are not restricted to use red seedless grapes, green ones are fine too- or a combo of both.


4-5 cups cooked cubed chicken breast(3-4 breasts cooked)

1 cup red grapes(sliced in half)

1/3 cup finely chopped  onion

3/4 cup finely chopped celery

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup miracle whip light (or mayo)

2 dashes of cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to taste

OPTIONAL (if roasting your own chicken): 3 to 4 springs of fresh thyme, olive oil and three cloves of fresh garlic thinly sliced

1. Leftover chicken could be used, or a store-bought(cooked) rotisserie chicken. If you wish to roast your own, you will need to use the optional ingredients above. Take 3 to 4 raw chicken breasts with rib meat  and skin–peel back the skin halfway. Place some sliced fresh garlic and a spring of thyme under the skin and pull it back over. Then salt, pepper breasts and lightly rub them with olive oil. Bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Once done, let cool  then remove thyme springs and garlic. Next remove meat from bones and chop into bite-sized pieces

2. Mix chicken with all ingredients except salt and pepper in a large bowl- stir till completely mixed.  Taste,  then add salt and pepper to your liking. Add more miracle whip if salad seems too dry.

VARIATIONS– add a dollop of your favorite mustard, and/or substitute green onion or chives for the white/sweet onion.

Above: Chicken salad with grapes BELOW: Lush 2, 2009, 6 X 18, oil & metal leaf


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  1. kathy m permalink

    thank you raquel for the delicious chicken salad recipe. i had three helpings for dinner 😉 and already looking forward to the next recipe. —kathy m.

    • Why thank you Kathy M! You are officially the first comment for this blog- feel free to give any suggestions for recipe ideas also!

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