The average cook book contains a good deal of nonsense about this salad. Nothing can be more simple than to mix a little nicely cut cold boiled chicken and celery together, with a tablespoonful or two of mayonnaise. Put this mixture into a salad-bowl, arrange it neatly, and over all add a mayonnaise. Garnish with celery tops, hard-boiled eggs, strips of beets, etc. Use a little more celery than chicken. Or, tear a few leaves of lettuce, put them in a salad-bowl, and add half a cold, boiled, tender chicken that has been cut into neat pieces; pour over it a mayonnaise; garnish neatly, and serve.
For large parties, and when the chicken is apt to become dry, from having been cut up long before it is wanted, it is best to keep it moist by adding a plain dressing. Drain it before using. Put on a flat side-dish a liberal bed of crisp lettuce. Add the chicken, garnish neatly, and, just before sending to table, pour over it a mayonnaise.
If in hot weather, arrange the salad on a dish that will stand in a small tub or kid. Fill this with ice, place the dish on top, pin a napkin or towel around the tub to hide it from view. Flowers, smilax, etc., may be pinned on this, which produce a very pretty effect.
In ancient times the fairest and youngest lady at table was expected to prepare and mix the salad with her fingers. "Retourner la salade les doigts," is the French way of describing a lady to be still young and beautiful.