Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Apple Tarragon Chicken Salad

I know this is no new combination of flavors (or at least I've gathered as much from a quick Google search), but I can't help but share my new find. This is my favorite lunch and dinner right now, to a great extent because it's easy and covers meals for several days, but mostly because it tastes so addictingly good.

Tarragon is a new herb to me. It has a long, slender leaf and subtle flavor that is so lovely alongside chicken; It makes this salad what it is, for sure, so definitely don't leave it out. ;) The slices of almonds contribute a dainty crunch, and the apple dices add a needed sweet bite (We tried craisins once, but didn't like it quite as much; You could also substitute grapes, if you'd rather.).

I'm excited to have a chicken salad to add to our (slowly) growing rotation! This one definitely makes the cut. I've gobbled it up the past few days on crackers, apple slices, a sandwich with cheddar and whole grain dijon (yum), and atop a green salad. I think it would even be marvelous on rice while still warm from the oven. Let me know what you try and how you like it best!

yields enough for 6-8 sandwiches (see photo below)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 T olive oil
several large dollops of mayonnaise
4 ribs celery, halved lengthwise and finely diced
1 apple, finely diced
2 T fresh tarragon leaves, minced
1 cup sliced almonds
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400F and pour olive oil into large glass baking dish. 
2. Rinse chicken and lay side-by-side in the dish. Turn them over a few times to cover with oil, then sprinkle a couple pinches of salt across both sides. Let bake for 35 minutes while you prep the other ingredients. 
3. When chicken is done, cover dish (carefully) with foil and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove and add breasts to standing mixer with paddle attachment. Let run on lowest speed for a couple minutes until chicken is shredded (If you don't have a mixer, let chicken cool until tolerable to touch and shred in a large bowl--just use a couple of forks.). 
4. With mixer running slowly, add mayo until the salad reaches your desired consistency, then toss in remaining ingredients and give a few good stirs. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Note: If the salad seems on the dry side after day one, feel free to add in another spoonful of mayo to moisten it up. 

 This is how much it makes. :)

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