Chicken Salad with Fresh 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?
The life-changing part was all about the flavor of fresh tarragon, which I’d never tasted before. I never especially liked dried tarragon, so as a result I hadn’t grown 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 that 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.
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
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 T fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
While chicken finishes cooking, mix together mayonnaise, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard.
This salad will keep in the refrigerator for a day or two if you can manage to keep it around for that long.
(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.)
South Beach Suggestions:
Mayonnaise is considered a “limited” food for the South Beach Diet, but this salad has a lot of chicken, celery, onions, and peas compared to the amount of mayo, making it acceptable as a “once in a while treat” for phase 2 or 3 of the diet. (Peas aren’t allowed for phase one.) I ate this for lunch as a main course salad, but you could serve it as part of a meal with something like Kalyn’s Tabbouli with Almonds or Carrot and Parsley Salad for phase two or three.
More Tarragon Recipes to Wake Up Your Tastebuds:
(Recipes from other blogs may or may not be South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients.)
Grilled Chicken with Tomato-Tarragon Sauce from Simply Recipes
Baked Peas with Tarragon, Yogurt, and Pistachios from 101 Cookbooks
Shrimp Salad Rolls with Tarragon Dressing from What Did You Eat?
Tarragon, Chicken, and Spinach Pie from Just Hungry
Braised Asparagus with Tarragon from CookThink
Braised Chicken with Tarragon, Pancettta, and Cremini Mushrooms from Well Fed
Chicken Stew with Grapes and Tarragon from Je Mange la Ville
Lemon-Tarragon Grilled Pork Chops from Tummy Treasure
Poached Egg with Tarragon from Fresh Approach Cooking
Chicken Dijonnaise from A Cat in the Kitchen