Six decades ago, Chet Cekala founded Willow Tree Poultry Farm in Attleboro, on property covered with weeping willows. At the small egg and poultry farm, Cekala created recipes for chicken pot pie and chicken salads, selling the dishes at the farm’s store and eventually at local delis. There is only one tree left now, and Chet passed away three years ago. But his son Walter and grandsons, Chris and Alex, who all started working in the business as youngsters, have grown the company. They supply supermarkets and specialty food stores throughout New England with freshly prepared chicken pot pies, deli chicken salads, such as buffalo and cranberry walnut, and cream cheese-based chicken dips. Willow Tree’s spacious retail shop alongside the plant sells the products, as well as grocery staples. The third generation is making its own imprint on the company, with two new offerings — sriracha and avocado chicken salads (15 ounces for $7.99 to $8.99). The heat of the sriracha version slowly sneaks up on you. The creamy avocado chicken salad is studded with cranberries and blended with lower-fat mayonnaise alternative Avèyo (a mix of avocados, vinegar, sea salt, and lime juice). Both salads are delicious for sandwiches or spread on crackers. It’s still comfort food, but an updated version.
Willow Tree Poultry Farm, 997 S. Main St., Attleboro, 508-222-2479, www.willowtreefarm.com. Willow Tree Poultry Farm’s sriracha and avocado chicken salads are available at Shaw’s, Hannaford, and Big Y locations. Chicken pot pies, other chicken salads, and dips are available at most supermarkets.