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RBR Tailgating: “Mayonnaise is Vile” Chicken Salad

In which one intrepid kitchen hobbyist says what needs to be said.

The good guys are on route to Arkansas to play a surprising Razorbacks team. Yes they only have three wins this year but they managed to hold the Fighting Kiffins to their lowest point total of the season and there was the Auburn Jesus miracle clocking.

Considering that they didn’t manage a single conference win since 2017, there are plenty of accolades to be given to Sam Pittman and his staff. Yes they get graded on the curve, but they are climbing out of a hole whose depths are best described as Vanderbiltian. Credit is due.

They haven’t escaped the loser television spot yet though and somehow they’ve managed to drag our eminence down with them. Since we’re kicking off at 11 am I picked this week’s recipe because it can be thrown together in less than ten minutes during the first halftime we’ve had in ages that coincides with actual lunchtime, but first I have to get something off of my chest.

Mayonnaise is disgusting and always has been.

Spanish Majorca is best known as a hot spot tourist destination for Brits and reality tv (television) shows that catalogue the trials and tribulations of Brits that cashed in and bought a restaurant in paradise that was doomed to fail until one or another Gordon Ramsay clones arrives with the perfect plan to right the ship. It was briefly known as the island that war poet Robert Graves ran off with nubiles he had convinced served as his muse until the next muse, although sometimes there was overlap, came along and took her place. It wasn’t always that way. For a while it was a port of great strategic importance in the Mediterranean.

In 1756 Armond de Vignerot du Plessis, duc de Richelieu (not the one that immediately springs to mind but the great or great-great nephew of that guy) decided he wanted to wrest the island from British control and give it to France. On April 18 of that year, he got his wish.

The battle could have gone either way until Admiral John Byng judged the situation to be in France’s favor and withdrew his fleet to Gibraltar. He was later court marshaled for that decision and for not doing his utmost he was relieved of all his Earthly troubles by a firing squad, inspiring Voltaire to write in Candide, “In this country, it is thought wise to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others.”

Without the fleet, the Brits at Fort St. Phillip were hopelessly besieged and eventually fell. Upon claiming the administrative centers, the duc (“Duck I says!”) commissioned a celebratory dinner. The problem with post siege celebrations is that post siege locations tend to be light on resources. Thus the chef appointed to put the dinner together found himself creamless and was forced to improvise a substitute. His resulting emulsification using eggs, oil, and acid have been a scourge on this Earth ever since.

So it was in the city of Mahon (thus the name mahonnaise, later with a y as we know it) on the island of Majorca redolent with the stench of burning human flesh from the funeral pyres and the fetid decay of those bodies not yet set alight, was mayonnaise first served.

It should be noted that Mahon was named for the Carthaginian Hannibal’s younger brother Mago, known for the gardens of crucified opponents left in his wake. So not only was mayo born amidst the smells of death at varying temperatures but was indirectly named after a bloodthirsty torturer whose brother had an elephant fetish (but in a bad way - Roll Tide!)

For those of you who share my aversion to the god-awful stuff, who eat before light hors d’oeuvre parties because you never know what might lurk in the folds of that turkey wrap or that cress creation, who dread to hear that so and so “is just going to pick up a bunch of sandwiches for everyone for lunch,” and who avoid chicken salad, potato salad, ham salad, and any other kind of salad without salad in it, I give you my emulsion free chicken salad.

Chicken Salad That Didn’t Get Condimentally Screwed Up

- cooked chicken, shredded or diced

- carrot, diced

- onion, diced

- celery, diced

- black olived, pitted and quartered

- extra virgin olive oil

- salt

Measurements are at the maker’s discretion - enough to feed those you need to feed in whatever proportions are likely to please. As for recipe directions, put all that stuff in a bowl and stir your way to homogeny.

I like mine on buttery croissants with a little arugula tossed in red wine vinaigrette or on toasted wheat with lettuce and tomato and loads of potato chips on the side. Occasionally I’ll add feta or eggs (Hard boiled only! We do not want any comingling and accidental emulsificating with the olive oil.)

It’s hard to believe that so much time has passed and we are an Arkansas win away from an undefeated all SEC season, but here we are. I don’t suspect this game to go well for the Hogs, but if I’m right and we win in the fashion to which we have become accustomed, be sure to comfort all your Arkansan friends by telling them that while things may not have gone well against Alabama at least they beat Auburn. Because they did beat Auburn. That was an astonishing decision.

Enjoy, no injuries, and Roll Tide.