Don’tcha just love it when bits of your life just seem to fit together?   This Hayman Island Chicken Salad pretty much joined all the dots for me last week.

Hayman Island Chicken Salad
Hayman Island Chicken Salad

 If last week my life was a movie, this week is a jigsaw.

I have always been inordinately fond of a jigsaw. I think it stems from being an only child and it being one of the things I could do alone.  We have been doing some jigsaws at work recently and it has been awesome.  We set them up in the kitchen so, at lunch time or randomly through the day, people can go in a do a piece or two. 

Although, just between you and me, I think the lady who is bringing them in secretly  hates us.  Not for her the art prints which are my favourites or the Alpine scenes and waterfalls of my childhood,  No way,  Uh uh…She likes the impossipuzzle.  We had only just recovered from #2 which was this:

My PhotoFy_09_29_09_27


No, not a series of pieces thrown on the table.  The top one is the picture.The bottom one is a close up.  It was only five hundred pieces and it took us three weeks to complete!  It also  left us shattered remnants of human beings.  Then she brought in number 3. 

Cat Impossipuzzle
Cat Impossipuzzle


















Yep, no borders and five extra pieces.  Not to mention a plethora of cats that all look the same  She really does hate us. 

There was some weirdness as well.  We finished puzzle #2 on a Friday but left it out so people could admire our puzzle making skills and laud us accordingly.  No change on Monday. However, when I came in on Tuesday, someone had removed the four corner pieces.  They hadn’t taken them or thrown them away.  Just removed them and left them on the table.  Who or why?  No idea.  I work with some strange people.

But enough of the literal, here’s the metaphorical.

After eating my weight in bacon whilst being obsessed with Fruity Devils I felt the need for some slimming.

I also had some left over pineapple and oranges and Rosemary Mayne Wilson’s Salads For All Seasons.

S4AS Cover

 There is a section on diet salads in the book however it contains recipes like this

 Cottage Cheese Mould

 And this:

 Curried Lamb Mould

 I don’t know, maybe I’m just being picky but if I was making a recipe that I wanted people to eat, I’d think twice about having the word “mould” in the title.  Just saying. Maybe that was  Rosemary’s cunning plan.  You are so repulsed by the name of the food that your appetite is automatically reduced.  Then you realise it’s either cottage cheese and pineapple juice (note, you don’t even get the pineapple) or lamb and curry powder in gelatine and what’s left of it disappears all together.  Voila.  I suppose it’s one way to get skinny!

Handily, not all of Rosemary’s recipes are that disgusting.  I made my version of her Hayman Island Chicken Salad which used up my leftover oranges and pineapple.  It was pretty tasty and looked quite pretty with the green from the avocado, celery and spring onion, the orange from the oranges (duh) and the yellow pineapple.  Mango would also be great in here and would add to the tropical vibe. I have shown it here as a sandwich but I also took some into work for lunch and it was great just as a salad too.  Also, there was no avocado in the original.  I just had one that needed to be used….

Hayman Island Chicken Salad3
Hayman Island Chicken Salad3

 There is no explanation given the Salads For All Seasons as to why this recipe is named after Hayman Island which is a holiday resort on the Great Barrier Reef.  I can only assume it was served there back in the 1970’s.  It is possibly the thing in the white dish front and centre below.

Hayman  Island Buffet via Vintage Queensland
Hayman Island Buffet via Vintage Queensland

So I had made my Hayman Island Chicken Salad and then, in a coincidence weirder than someone removing the corner pieces from a jigsaw, I happened to glance at the cover of this month’s Gourmet Traveller which had been sitting on my coffee table unread for a couple of weeks. (It actually made an appearance last week, slightly obscured by my huge glass of wine…)

My PhotoFy_09_19_21_58

And totally obscured by my hot sauce was this!

My PhotoFy_09_29_22_26

Coincidence?  I don’t think so.  I think the universe is trying to tell me something. And I’m fairly sure that it is that I need to get to Hayman Island pronto.

You see, I read that article and there is no mention of a chicken salad. Nor does it appear on any of the resort menus.

Which is, as far as I am concerned a travesty.


 I feel it is my duty, no my mission, to bring this salad to the attention of the resort owners. I would be quite happy to spend a weekend working with the chefs to bring help back this piece of  Hayman Island history.   Although…we would probably need to match it with some wines and a cocktail or two.  Hmm…maybe I’ll need a week.

And we needn’t go all out with the retro vibe.  The outrigger canoe as a buffet table?  That can stay gone.

And I’m not greedy.  I don’t need the $10,600 a night penthouse.  I have simple tastes.  The $1990 per night beach villa with private pool will be just fine. 

Hayman Island Beach Villa

How glorious does that room look?  The only downside is that now I have that Coldplay song running through in my head.

As do you now too.  Don’t thank me.  You’re more than welcome.

All together now…Para, para, paradise…..Whoa-oh-oh oh-oooh oh-oh-oh.

So what do you think of my chances of getting the all expenses paid trip to Hayman to act as historical cuisine consultant to the chefs? 

Yep. Me too.  (Sigh). 

Oh well, at least I have the salad!

Have a great week!

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

Hayman Island Chicken Salad

Hayman Island Chicken Salad


  • 4 cups cooked chicken
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 tbsp spring onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 avocado, flesh cut into cubes
  • 2 oranges, segmented (the original recipe called for tinned mandarin segments)
  • 1 can pineapple pieces
  • 2 tbsp slivered almonds, toasted
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • dash of tabasco sauce (optional)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt & pepper


  • Combine the chicken, celery, spring onions, capers and lemon juice.
  • Chill for 1 hour.
  • Mix lemon zest, tabasco if using, and mayonnaise. Chill.
  • At serving time, add the pineapple, avocado and oranges to the chicken mix.
  • Gently add the mayonnaise and carefully mix through.
  • Season to taste
  • Top with almonds and serve.




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