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The Chicken or The Egg February 3, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Joke, Less IS More.

We’ve all heard people ponder the question:  “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”

I’ve never come up with a satisfactory resolution to that inquiry.  So, let’s table that discussion for the duration of this blog post.

Instead, I’d like to know why hard-boiled eggs are ubiquitous to Macaroni Salad, Potato Salad, Ham Salad, Tuna Salad, etc., when they are clearly NOT a necessary adjunct.

They’re just there.

Like that creep in the corner of the bar keeping silent watch.

“Stop looking at me!”

Even more perplexing than the perennial presence of hard-boiled eggs in potluck offerings is the apparent absence of eggs from chicken salad.

I’ve seen chicken salad dolled up with grapes, pineapple, raisins, apples, mandarin oranges, cranberries, celery, onion, slivered almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pecans, cashews, curry, pickles, olives, capers . . . you name it.

But I just googled “chicken salad recipes” and none of the 20 recipes at the top of the “hit list” called for hard-boiled egg.

Not that I’m complaining since I don’t eat chicken or eggs, especially hard-boiled eggs.

But why is it that the chicken and the egg are rarely “co-stars” in chicken salad?  Don’t people realize that eggs and chicken are about as closely related as two foods can get?

They’re NOT first cousins, twice removed, like ham and eggs or green eggs & ham.  They’re from the same nuclear family ~ think parent and child or siblings at different stages of development.

Green Eggs and HamSo why aren’t they considered suitable company for each other in chicken salad?

Oh, wait.

I get it.

It might seem incestuous.

Aah . . . that’s better! 


1. Jill Weatherholt - February 3, 2020

For over ten years I’ve eaten two hard-boiled eggs for my breakfast. Although I love chicken, white meat only, I’ve never eaten chicken salad and I definitely don’t eat Peeps! I thought I would throw that into the mix. 😉

nrhatch - February 3, 2020

Thanks for weighing in, Jill. Everyone in my family loved eggs for breakfast, and hard-boiled eggs for breakfast during road trips. I was the odd man out. Literally. As they cracked their eggs in the car, I would stick my head out the window. 😀

Peeps are an acquired taste. One that I never acquired. BFF’s cousin stocks up on them at Easter ~ creating a stash that lasts for months.

Jill Weatherholt - February 3, 2020

I’m with you on sticking your head out the window. I hated eggs as a kid. 🙂 I worked with a guy who loved Peeps. He’s eat an entire package in one sitting. Eek!

nrhatch - February 3, 2020

The only way I enjoy marshmallows is toasted over a campfire and slapped into a s’more . . . with chocolate. 😀

I wonder if anyone ever toasted a Peeps?

2. Ally Bean - February 3, 2020

I’ve never thought about this conundrum and now that you mention it, I find it fascinating. Maybe historically there were no extra eggs to boil to add to the chicken salad because all the eggs had become chickens that were cooked for the salad. Or, more likely, it doesn’t taste good so people don’t add hard-cooked eggs to chicken salad.

nrhatch - February 3, 2020

All good thoughts, Ally! Especially the last. I’ve always viewed hard-boiled eggs as a “detractor” from flavor rather than an “enhancer” . . . but I expect I’m in the minority.

Lucky for me, BFF is also decidedly NOT fond of eggs (except in cakes, brownies, and cookies). :mrgreen:

3. Rivergirl - February 3, 2020

While I love a heavily egged potato salad, I’ve never found them in macaroni, ham or tuna salads. And nor do I want to! Blech.

nrhatch - February 3, 2020

I refused to eat anything that had hard-boiled eggs in it. I still do. I’m way to “picky” to pick around them. 😆

Rivergirl - February 3, 2020

Oddly enough… I don’t eat eggs. The only way I can tolerate them is hard boiled and mashed up in potato salad.

nrhatch - February 3, 2020

Sounds like you don’t need me to pass you the deviled eggs at the next potluck. I’m always amazed at how fast a tray of deviled eggs disappears down people’s gullets. 🙄

4. Kate Crimmins - February 3, 2020

I think my mom added eggs to tuna salad to stretch it. You could get an extra sandwich out of a can of tuna. Austrian-Germans (from my own experience) ate a lot of eggs because most everyone had chickens in the yard. Perhaps for chicken salad, people like a pop of sweetness from fruit. I love grapes in it but pineapple or apples will work too. Maybe there is a religious taboo somewhere?

nrhatch - February 3, 2020

Stretching tuna salad by adding eggs to it sounds like my mom too, Kate. And she probably added eggs to macaroni and potato salads to increase the protein of the meal for a few cents on the dollar. Of course, she might just have been “following” a recipe, something that I rarely do. 😛

Before I became a vegetarian, my favorite way to use leftover chicken or turkey was to add celery, mayo, salt, and pepper. I’d have my fruit on the side. And, you’re right, grapes, pineapple, apples are all great for that pop of sweetness.

5. anotherday2paradise - February 3, 2020

Very interesting questions, Nancy. I think you’ll find that Cobb Salad is the exception to the rule, as it usually contains roast chicken and hard-boiled eggs along with all the other delicious ingredients. My favourite salad of all time. 🙂

nrhatch - February 3, 2020

I just looked at a bunch of Cobb Salads ~ tres elegant, with rows of ingredients laid out side-by-side. And because it’s not all mixed together, “picky” consumers can pick and choose which bits to eat and in what order.

I even saw a Mexican Cobb Salad with chicken, cheese, tomato, lettuce, black olives, shrimp . . . and warm tortillas on the side. Ole!

anotherday2paradise - February 3, 2020

Sounds very yummy. 😜

6. L. Marie - February 3, 2020

I’ve seen hard boiled eggs in tuna salad and chicken salad.

nrhatch - February 3, 2020

I did find a few chicken salad recipes that listed eggs, but I had to hunt (and peck) for them! 😆

7. Debra - February 4, 2020

I’m laughing at the observations, Nancy. You’re right of course! I am confident I have NEVER seen any egg in chicken salad, yet YES to potato salad, macaroni salad, cobb salad…and so on. I never really liked hard boiled eggs, because when I was a child I was convinced the yoke was a developing chicken. Even when old enough to know that wasn’t true, I had a hard time switching off the image. 🙂

nrhatch - February 4, 2020

You & I are on the same page, Debra . . . even down to the yoke as a developing chicken.

I couldn’t understand the appeal of hard-boiled eggs. Still can’t.

8. Behind the Story - February 4, 2020

Not incestuous More like cannibalistic.

I like hard boiled eggs in potato salad. That was my mom’s recipe. And I like them in nicoise salad–although I’ve been avoiding eggs in the last few years.

nrhatch - February 4, 2020

I’ll stick with “incestuous” since they are “sleeping on the same bed” (of lettuce) . . . not eating each other! 🙄

9. jmarie1974 - February 4, 2020

HAHAHAHA! Great post – very enjoyable read!

nrhatch - February 4, 2020

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed.

10. Tippy Gnu - February 5, 2020

You should write comedy for Jerry Seinfeld.

nrhatch - February 5, 2020

Thanks, TG. Stand-up comedians share some good yolks!

11. Prior... - February 23, 2020

So fun!

nrhatch - February 23, 2020

Glad you enjoyed!

Prior... - February 23, 2020


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