Chicken salad is a tried-and-true recipe. Crisp celery, green onion, and fresh grapes are tossed with diced chicken and creamy textures.
But my version has a twist that elevates it to the pinnacle of chicken salads. It’s quick, healthful, colorful, and savory, and it’ll brighten up any summer meal.
Chicken salad conjures up images of summer’s own form of comfort food for me. It’s creamy, satisfying and full of bright, fresh flavors. Every taste has notes of Dijon mustard, luscious grapes, and crunchy celery. What’s even better? It is the ideal throw-together meal because it requires very little cooking.
It’s all about the herbs, though, if you want to produce the best chicken salad. And there’s tarragon, which is my secret ingredient.
Tarragon complements the chicken well and adds to its wow effect. Everyone will be asking for seconds on this one, believe me. So go to the store, get your salad supplies, and watch the video below to learn how to make it.
CHICKEN SALAD INGREDIENTS
While the ingredients are straightforward, the way their distinct flavors combine is crucial. Here’s how I do it:
- Chicken Breasts – I poach boneless skinless chicken breasts, but leftover rotisserie chicken would also work.
- Mayonnaise – is the best creamy binder for combining all of the ingredients. Mayonnaise is also simple to prepare at home.
- Dijon Mustard – A little Dijon mustard provides the depth of flavor and a hint of heat.
- Red Grapes – You can use red or green seedless grapes, but I prefer red grapes because of the contrast in color.
- Celery – I enjoy the crunch of celery in my chicken salads.
- Green Onion – Green onions have a delicious flavor without being overpowering, which is ideal.
- Toasted Almonds – To bring out the nutty flavor of your sliced almonds, toast them.
- Parsley – Chopped up a few tablespoons of parsley is one of the best herbs for salads.
- Tarragon – is one of the best-kept secrets in the kitchen. You’ll be surprised at how much flavor a smidgeon of tarragon lends to the salad.
- Lemon Juice – For a burst of brightness.
- Seasonings (salt and pepper) – Always season to taste.
HOW TO POACH CHICKEN
This recipe calls for poached chicken, which is simple, healthful, and delectable. It also means that if it’s a hot, sunny day outside, you won’t have to turn on the oven. It’s an added advantage.
Poaching can result in one of the most tender pieces of chicken you’ve ever had if done correctly. Follow the simple steps below to get it right every time.
- Make sure your chicken breasts aren’t overlapping or packed in a large pot or pan.
- Fill a bowl halfway with cold water and place the chicken in it. To add flavor to the water, season it with a pinch of salt.
- Bring the water to a slow simmer over low heat. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan with a lid.
- Allow 10 minutes for the chicken to boil. Remember, patience is essential in this low-key, slow-moving procedure!
- Check to verify if your chicken is cooked through. Turn off the heat when the inside temperature reaches 160-165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- After you’ve withdrawn the chicken from the pot, let it rest for a minute or two. The chicken juices will be able to disperse as a result.
- Place the chicken in the refrigerator to chill. This is crucial because this dish calls for cold chicken.
Can you use cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken from the store? Yes, of course. While I love poached chicken, this recipe can be made with nearly any chicken. Simply ensure that you have roughly four cups of chopped or shredded chicken on hand.
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN SALAD
It’s time to construct the salad now that you have delightfully tender chicken breasts. And there are only three steps in total:
- Toast: 1/2 cup almonds, lightly toasted in a pan on the stove Allow them to cool to room temperature.
- Slice and dice: Slice and dice the chicken breasts first into little 1/2-inch pieces. The grapes should next be quartered, the celery, parsley, and tarragon diced, and the green onion sliced.
- Mix: In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir until well blended. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste, and you’re done!
The greatest time to eat chicken salad is when it’s cold. As a result, refrigerate the combination before serving. This also aids in the blending of all the tastes for the most delicious salad.
CHICKEN SALAD VARIATIONS
Aside from the mentioned ingredients, you have a few texture and flavor options to choose from.
- Change up the nuts. Substitute pecans or walnuts for the almonds.
- Toss the fruit together. You can substitute chopped apples, dried cranberries, or dried cherries for the grapes.
- Replace the onions. If green onions aren’t your style, finely diced red onions can be substituted.
Make it a little creamier. Replace the mayo with Greek yogurt or try a half-and-half mixture.
HOW TO SERVE IT
Because it’s so wonderful, I’ve been known to eat this chicken salad by the spoonful right from the bowl. Here are some suggestions for turning it into a dinner.
- Sandwich: Layer lettuce, spinach, or tomato slices between two slices of sandwich bread.
- Wrap: Use handmade cassava flour tortillas to make a wrap.
- Lettuce Wrap: Wrap it in large romaine or butter leaf lettuce for a lighter, low-carb option.
- Extra Green Salad: Place a spoonful on top of a bed of spinach or other greens.
- Dip: Serve with flax seed crackers or chips as a dip.
HOW LONG DOES CHICKEN SALAD LAST?
Don’t keep this recipe out at room temperature for more than two hours because it’s designed to be refrigerated. Otherwise, keep it refrigerated for up to 3-5 days.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts 2 lb
- Sliced almonds 1/2 cup
- Mayonnaise 1 cup
- Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon
- Red grapes quartered 1 cup
- Celery 2 stalk, diced
- 3 green onions (green and white parts), sliced
- Chopped parsley 2 tablespoon
- Chopped tarragon 1 tablespoon
- 1 lemon, juiced
- salt and pepper, to taste
IN ORDER TO PREPARE THE POACHED CHICKEN
- Place the chicken breasts in a wide saucepan or pan and cover with cold water by approximately an inch. Using salt, season the water. You can add the aromatics of your choice if you want. For additional information, see my poached chicken recipe.
- Increase the heat to medium and keep it there until it reaches a soft simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan with a lid. Simmer for 8-12 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160-165 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside to rest for a few minutes. Then put it in the fridge to chill.
CHICKEN SALAD RECIPE
- Place the chicken on a cutting board and dice it into 1/2-inch pieces once it has cooled.
- Celery, green onion, grapes, parsley, and tarragon should all be diced. Combine those ingredients, as well as the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice, in a mixing bowl. Salt & pepper to taste.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir until well blended. Allow it to chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
CALORIES: 524 kcal, CARBOHYDRATES: 10 g, PROTEIN: 36 g, FAT: 38 g, SATURATED FAT: 6 g, CHOLESTEROL: 112 mg, SODIUM: 454 mg, POTASSIUM: 782 mg, FIBER: 3 g, SUGAR: 6 g, VITAMIN A: 318 iu, VITAMIN C: 15mg