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.
The base for this recipe is a Chicken Salad Rick’s mother started making over 40 years ago for a wedding reception, in which she used both thigh and breast meat. But you can use one or the other if you prefer. Adding a few finely chopped pecans or walnuts as his mother did also add a nice touch. You can substitute dried cherries for the cranberries, which Rick prefers. He calls that “Going Michigan”, as cherries are used in many Michigan chicken salad recipes.
1 ½ lbs of skinless, bone-in chicken breasts and thighs
¼ cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 to 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Sea Salt to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
Place the chicken In a medium sauce pan. Add enough water to cover by an inch. Add 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt to the water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce to medium-low to keep the simmer going. Simmer for 15-18 minutes until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Transfer to a plate and let cool. Remove the bones and chop into ½ inch to ¾ inch 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 or other lettuce leaves, or on the bread or toast of your choice for a refreshing Summer sandwich. Adding a slice of tomato and a piece of Romaine lettuce will top of the sandwich nicely.