The eggs add moisture to this recipe and allow you to control the amount of mayonnaise to create that “old-fashioned” picnic flavor, creamy and rich.



  • 1 Quart water
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 Teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 stalks celery, cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • 1 1/2 Cup mayonnaise, or less if desired
  • 1 Teaspoon celery salt
  • 3 hard-boiled large eggs
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper


Step 1

Place a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat and add the water, chicken breasts, oil, peppercorns, salt, and bay leaf.

Step 2

Bring to a simmer, then immediately remove the skillet from the heat.

Step 3

Cover and let stand until the chicken is tender, about 12 minutes.

Step 4

Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate and let cool.

Step 5

Place the celery in a large bowl. Shred the cooled chicken with your fingers or with a fork and add to the celery in the bowl.

Step 6

Add the mayonnaise, celery salt, and salt and pepper to taste and toss until evenly coated.

Step 7

Crush the hard-boiled eggs with your hands and fold into the salad. Chill the salad and serve in a large bowl.