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Chicken Salad with French Tarragon and Peas

French Tarragon is something I’ve loved since the first time I tried it, and it’s amazing in this Chicken Salad with French Tarragon and Peas.

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Chicken Salad with French Tarragon and Peas

If you’re passionate about food, there may be a few food experiences you’ll come to regard as truly life-changing. For me, one such moment was the first time I tasted sushi, and another was the time last summer when I made Gazpacho with my blog friends. Who would have ever predicted that when I spotted a simple recipe for Lemony Chicken Salad with Tarragon on Champaign Taste it would lead to another of those life-changing food experiences and inspired this Chicken Salad with French Tarragon and Peas?

The life-changing part was all about the flavor of French tarragon, which I’d never tasted before. I never especially liked dried tarragon, so as a result I hadn’t grown French Tarragon in my herb garden. Then I saw a lot of bloggers raving about it, so I planted some this year.

If I’d imagined how I’d fall head-over-heels in love with the flavor of fresh tarragon, I’d have tried growing it long ago. Obviously I didn’t hear that Michael Ruhlman had earlier proclaimed it to be the greatest of all herbs. Since making this salad, I am just about convinced. And because all this gushing is about an herb that just might become a serious rival of my very favorite herb, this post is perfect for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by Astrid of Paulchen’s Food Blog.

There are several types of Tarragon, but the one I’m gushing over is French Tarragon, beloved for the slightly anise flavor that’s so distinctive. French Tarragon is used in a variety of dishes, and also in blends such as Herbs de Provence and Fines Herbs. It should be used sparingly, or the strong flavor will overcome the dish. If you want to try growing French Tarragon, you should purchase a plant because it can’t be grown from seeds. When buying plants, be careful not to get Russian Tarragon, which has little flavor, or Spanish or Mexican Tarragon, which is stronger. My tiny plant of French Tarragon has more than tripled in size in a few weeks, which is good news because I’m itching to try more recipes with this delicious herb.

Chicken Salad with French Tarragon and Peas


More French Tarragon Recipes to Wake Up Your Tastebuds:

Cooking Tips for Gardeners: Cooking with French Tarragon from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Grilled Chicken with Tomato-Tarragon Sauce from Simply Recipes
Baked Peas with Tarragon, Yogurt, and Pistachios from 101 Cookbooks

Chicken Salad with French Tarragon and Peas

French Tarragon is something I’ve loved since the first time I tried it, and it’s amazing in this Chicken Salad with French Tarragon and Peas.


  • 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken)
  • 2 cups chicken stock or broth (enough water to cover chicken)
  • 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed and drained well
  • scant T chopped fresh tarragon (should be French Tarragon for this recipe)
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard


  1. Trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken breasts, then place in a pan where they can fit in a single layer. Put in chicken stock and poultry seasoning, add enough water to cover chicken and simmer on very low heat about 6 minutes. Turn off heat and let chicken sit in the hot stock for about 15 minutes more. (Read here about poaching chicken.)
  2. While chicken finishes cooking, mix together mayonnaise, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard.
  3. Remove chicken from stock and let cool, then cut or shred into bite sized pieces. Place in salad bowl and add celery, red onion, peas, and chopped French Tarragon.
  4. Stir in dressing until all ingredients are lightly covered (you may not need all the dressing, depending on how much you like mayonnaise.) Season with salt and pepper to taste (I didn’t use much of either.)
  5. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes before serving to let flavors develop, then serve.
  6. This salad will keep in the refrigerator for a day or two if you can manage to keep it around for that long.


This recipe was adapted from Lemony Chicken Salad with Tarragon at Champaign Taste.

Edit 7-1-07: Astrid from Paulchen’s Food Blog tried this recipe, but like good cooks always do, she came up with her own version of the recipe. Check out her blog for a variation that also sounds tasty.

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Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Chicken Salad with French Tarragon and Peas is a great dish for low-carb diet plans. If anyone is freaking out about the peas, there are 18 carbs from peas in 6 servings of salad, and you can surely use less peas if you prefer. This salad is only for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet, due to the peas, and South Beach would prefer light mayo.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
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19 comments on “Chicken Salad with French Tarragon and Peas”

  1. Candice, so glad you liked it!

  2. Thanks for the recipe. My tarragon plant is ginormous and I'm always on the lookout for a great recipe. I made this salad for dinner and it was Awesome! Thanks!

  3. Hehe! Kalyn, you’ve crossed over as well! I owe tarragon a sincere apology for all the times I bad-mouthed it and called it names.

    Your chicken salad looks wonderful and incredibly fresh tasting.

  4. oh love the chicken salad, so good for summer, YUM!

  5. I love tarragon with chicken, fish and in cream sauces. I mistakenly planted Russian Tarragon, (which is is often in the nurseries) and it is very light on flavor. Now I buy the ‘live’ herbs in the supermarkets and plant them – much better flavor although not as pretty as a plant!

  6. Rob, thanks for sharing that information. It sounds like the Russian tarragon is definitely to be avoided.

  7. This looks like a wonderful addition to the recipe file!

    Be aware too if you have Russian tarragon in your garden – it spreads about as rampantly as mint does if left unchecked.

  8. Sarina, I think it’s pretty easy to use too much. When I saw the original recipe using only 1 T of chopped tarragon in this recipe, I was sure I’d want to add more. But I thought this was the perfect amount. Try it!

    Elise, yes, it was such a perfect combination.

  9. Hi Kalyn,
    I too recently made this discovery, when I found a chicken salad sandwich at Starbucks that had tarragon in it. Isn’t it just a great pairing?

  10. tarragon is a flavour that still puzzles me.. maybe it’s that overpowering thing that you mentioned. I’d love to try it in a dish where it’s in perfect balance to see how I feel about it then 🙂

  11. Lydia, lucky you having a tarragon plant that big!

    Astrid, glad you like the idea, and I will definitely have fun!

    Ulrike, so glad to hear your tarragon came back to life. Duh, I should have used that banner.

    Tanna, do buy some, it will be worth it.

    Sher, I agree completely. You were one of the ones who inspired me to try it!

    Katerina, have you posted that recipe? It sounds wonderful.

    Pille, hope you like it. Sounds like everyone but me already knew about fresh tarragon.

    Lis, ditto to everything I said to Pille. I think I’m the last one to find out how good it tastes, but now that I know, there’s going to be lots of tarragon recipes coming I have a feeling.

  12. That looks sooooo good! I have fresh tarragon in my herb garden this year – I can’t wait to try this salad. =)


  13. I’m so bookmarking this. I love chicken, and I’ve got a rather healthy-looking tarragon plant in my garden 🙂

  14. You know, I didn’t plant tarragon. I can’t believe I overlooked it! I have made a French mustard sauce for pork that included fresh tarragon and it was divine. One of those classic combinations – mustard and tarragon.

  15. Fresh tarragon! I wish everyone could try it just once. They would be so amazed at how wonderful it tastes. I love your recipe!

  16. And I couldn’t find any this spring at the garden centers! I do enjoy the fresh (dried isn’t worth a penny). And chicken salad sounds just perfect now . . . guess I’ll have to buy some, tarragon that is.

  17. How funny, my tarragon recovered and I served linguine with tarragon today! And I used your tarragon banner!

  18. *wow* now I know whats going to be our lunch tomorrow.
    Thank you for that delicious suggestion.
    Hope you have fun in SF!

  19. Hooray — a recipe for fresh tarragon! My tarragon plant is the size of a small bush, or a small town, and I’m desperate for new ideas for how to use it. Thanks, Kalyn.

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