Sunday, March 6, 2011

Operation O'Carrs

What do you get when you add:

-hours of internet searching
-2 return trips to my house
-one additional trip to the grocery store (thanks Lance!)
-lots and lots of chicken
-lots of herb deliberation
-too many pecans
-LOTS of taste testing
-delirious singing of Camp Anawanna and reminiscing theme songs and other 90's tunes

.....Operation O'Carrs

I truly believe my mother didn't know of another Birmingham restaurant for years after I moved here.  I don't want to think of how many lbs of their chicken salad I've consumed.  I've had lots of great memories at O'Carrs.  Julie and I went on a quest to recreate the chicken salad. And while I don't think we matched it exactly, we got pretty darn close.  

Our journey started after my MIS class and their parenting class 5:00 Saturday night.  So, needless to say, it had been a long day for us all!

I bought a tub of the chicken salad so we could analyze what was inside.  It was confirmed that dill (dillweed as carol and I call it) is the herb of choice.  

There was no doubt the chicken salad had to be processed in the food processor (not sooo appetizing).  We are not sure how they got to that point so we boiled our chicken in some salt and paprika.  

 It most definitely contains grapes.  That was easy...

 Note: The container to the left is the store purchased and to the right is our creation.

Looking good... 

If we did stumble upon a killer recipe, we could make a killer profit.

Our final guestimation:

Julie and Shelley's Take on O'Carr's Chicken Salad

2 c. boiled chicken, chopped in processor
1tsp dill
1/4 c. grapes
1/8 c. chopped pecans
4 pinches paprika
2 oz cream cheese
3 T mayo
1 tsp honey
2 pinches salt

And while we didn't have fancy fruit, we did have fancy THEMED (aren't I good) crackers?


This is Lance's taste test. HILARIOUS.  The above plate had 2 of our recipes on it, along with the original.  By that time we had eaten SO MUCH of it, we knew.  After what I eat in the frig...I will probably NOT be eating any chicken salad for awhile (and darn if I don't have another O'Carrs Groupon waiting to be used)!

It is ALWAYS a fun time and great adventures cooking/baking at the Smith house!

On July 22, 2012, I tried a cheesecake recipe similar to the O'Carr's recipe.  Click here to visit the blogpost.


  1. I am very impressed with this effort! Way to go! I live in Montana now, but I'm from Hoover and when I go home to visit my mom and dad, I usually make a trip to O'Carrs and I always order the chicken salad plate. Yum!

    1. Thanks rachel! It was a fun project...Ocarrs will always be my favorite chicken salad! Let me know how it goes if you try it!

  2. I just made! It's been a LONG time since I've had O'Carrs, but it's pretty close to what I remember having at the restaurant. So good!

    Two questions--

    1) did you put the paprika and salt in the salad or is that what you put in the water to boil the chicken?

    2) can you PLEASE figure out how to make their warm cheesecake with the chocolate chips in the center?! :)

    1. YEAAA! That is wonderful to hear! It has been awhile since we made this...I need to make it again. To answer your question, I do not remember specifically what we did with the paprika but I think we just added it in to the mix. Putting some in with the chicken wouldn't hurt, though!

      And the cheesecake is PHENOMINAL. That is a GREAT idea. I am on it!

  3. I made it is close! Did we get the cheesecake?

    1. Tonight you got the cheesecake. :) I think it is pretty darn good!

  4. I am going to make it this weekend. About how many would you say this recipe serves? I'm making it for 10 or 11.

    1. That is a wonderful question (anyone else is welcome to chime in) but after some deliberation Julie and I are guessing 4. If that does not look like enough, I would go ahead and make more. (Because it is chicken salad it can be eaten for a few days.) Certainly circle back around and let us know. Have fun this weekend!

  5. Oh my gosh! I am a Trussville resident living in GERMANY, so you know that a quick trip to O'Carrs is out of the question for me. I will be going to the market tomorrow to pick up the ingredients. I can't wait to see how it turns out!

  6. Shelley, I have some leftover chicken that was cooked in the crock pot, so I think I will try your version of the chicken salad with greek yogurt substituted for the mayo... will let you know how it turns out! So excited to try this...

    1. You best let me know. I am a HUGE fan of greek yogurt!