Tarragon Chicken Salad
Chicken Salad is standard fare for Summer picnics and family outings. With Tarragon Chicken Salad, the tarragon adds a fresh summery flavor. Tarragon is one of the most common herbs used in French cooking, especially with chicken, fish and egg dishes. It doesn’t take a lot of the herb to impart its unique flavor.
This is a Chicken Salad Rick’s mother started making in 1977 his brother’s wedding reception, in which she used both chicken breasts and thighs. You can use one or the other if you prefer. The finely chopped pecans or walnuts add a nice touch, complementing the cherries and chicken. You can substitute dried cranberries for the cherries. But, Rick prefers the cherries, or as he calls it “Going Michigan”, as dried cherries are used quite a bit in Michigan chicken salad and other salad recipes.
1 ½ Lbs of Skinless, Bone-in Chicken Breasts and Thighs
1 Teaspoon Kosher Flake Salt
¼ Cup Dried Cherries Finely Chopped
1 Stalk Celery, Finely Chopped
¼ Cup Chopped Walnuts or Pecans
1 to 2 Teaspoons Dried Tarragon
¼ Cup Mayonnaise
1 Teaspoon Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
1 Teaspoon Sea Salt or More Taste
½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper or More to Taste
Place the chicken In a large sauce pan. Add enough water to cover the chicken by an inch. Add 1 teaspoon Kosher sea salt to the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the temperature to keep the simmer going. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and fork tender. Transfer to a plate and let cool. Remove the bones and chop into bite-sized cubes.
Place the chicken pieces and the other ingredients in a mixing bowl. Gently fold everything together until completely mixed. Add additional salt and pepper to your taste.
Serve on Bibb, Romaine or other lettuce leaves. You can also serve open-faced on slices of hearty white bread toast for a refreshing Summer sandwich. Adding a slice of tomato and a piece of Romaine lettuce will top of the sandwich nicely.