Saturday, March 21, 2009

Tarragon Chicken Salad

Happy Spring, everyone!

We have already 'sprung forward' on the clock and today is the first 'full' day of spring. If you're like me, and live in the cooler climates of the northern states or Midwest, you are anxious to take rake in hand and feel the sunshine on your face outdoors again and that's just what I'm planning on doing this afternoon!

Spring is also a time of thinking a bit 'lighter' meal-wise, not only for quick meals after being outside gardening or golfing, but also to help lose those extra pounds put on over the winter.  Working outside means easy to make or make-ahead meals are in order. Here is one of my favorite salads that we've enjoyed recently.

My favorite chicken salad recipe! Add a fresh baguette and lunch or dinner is served.

Chicken Tarragon Salad
Printable Recipe

2-4 boneless chicken breasts, poached
1 bay leaf
1 cup celery, diced
3-4 thinly sliced scallions
1 cup Hellman’s Mayonaise (I use Light)
1 Tbsp Tarragon
Salt and Freshly ground pepper to taste

For Serving:

1 cup toasted pecans
Fresh grapes

To poach chicken breasts, place in a sauté pan with about a cup of water and bay leaf and cook, covered, over medium heat for about 20-25 minutes. The chicken may be cooked a day in advance and refrigerated. Cut into small pieces or shred with fingers when cool.
To toast pecans, arrange in single layer on a small cookie sheet and toast in a 350 degree oven for about 7 minutes – watch carefully during the last few minutes so they don’t burn.

Mix mayonnaise, tarragon, pepper and salt in bowl. Set aside. Place cooked chicken pieces in large bowl. Add celery and onions. Add dressing and mix well. Refrigerate salad, covered, for at least one hour.

To serve, arrange chicken salad over lettuce greens of your choice and add toasted pecans and grapes to garnish.


  1. I love both of those dishes -- and I am sure that the pear vinegar adds a depth of flavor that ordinary vinegar does not. There is nothing like a bit of tarragon in chicken salad (see Barefoot Contessa today!)

  2. I am craving that chicken salad now..and crocuses..Fresh as Spring post Nana2B..Hellman's and chicken..Yummo:)

  3. The chicken salad is really calling out....I love the flavor of tarragon!
    Checked today to see if I have any buds trying to poke through, I some of my iris' are up about 3" !!!

  4. Susan, this post is right up my alley. We love salads and those look great. Early spring flowers make me smile. Hope you saw some blooms this afternoon.

  5. ooh, pear vinegar! What a pretty blog...I'll look forward to coming back soon.

  6. Susan, both salads look and sound delicious ... but chicken salad is definitely my favorite. I make it so infrequently that I forget how to prepare it and end up searching for the perfect recipe. I think that I just found it.

    Sweet pictures of the flowers ... very delicate.

  7. Your two salads look great! I adore all chicken salads and yours would be no exception. I like that you serve it with grapes. I remember seeing that salad on Kevin's sight. He has some great dishes. I've always like pears and cheese since I was a little girl. Never tried gorgonzola, but I bet it was great. I hope you get that garden time soon! I did today :-)

  8. Yes, it certainly is salad time. These look very good.

  9. They look great, Susan!

    I have never made chicken salad that way, we have the second salad frequently, and I love it!

    Flowers, where are they??

  10. What a wonderful post to celebrate springs arrival. The chicken salad sounds delicious as does the pear one. Your photos are so PERFECT!

  11. Great looking salads, Susan! and what a nice end to the post with the beautiful flowers! Spring is definitely in the air :)


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