Thursday, August 13, 2009

Chicken Salad w/Grapes, Pecans & Tarragon

The BEST chicken salad I have ever had...period! I am super picky about chicken salad. Honestly, I just don't usually like most people's chicken salad. This is Ina Garten's recipe, back from when she used to cater and I just don't think it gets much better than this. Roasting the chicken with the bone and skin keeps it super moist and the fruit and pecans add just the right amount of sweetness and crunch. I omitted the walnuts and doubled the pecans. Make sure you toast them first...makes a big difference! I like to eat this chicken salad with a side of honeydew, but it would be fantastic inside a soft croissant, nestled inside some fresh butter lettuce, wrapped in a tortilla or stuffed in some pita bread. Just be careful...this stuff is addictive. I ate it every day for three days straight for lunch!

What You'll Need:
2 split (1 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on (1 1/2 pounds)
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup walnuts halves
1/2 cup good mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves, divided
1 cup green grapes, cut in 1/2
Lettuce leaves, for serving

What You'll Do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts, skin side up, on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside until cool.
When the chicken is cool, remove meat from the bones and discard the skin and bones. Cut the chicken into a 3/4-inch dice.
Meanwhile, place the pecans and walnuts on a separate sheet pan and toast in the oven for 7 to 8 minutes until golden. Set aside to cool.
For the dressing, mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Fold in half the chopped tarragon leaves.
Place the diced chicken in a bowl, add the pecans, walnuts and grapes. Pour the dressing over the chicken and toss well. Sprinkle the remaining chopped tarragon leaves on top, and serve on a bed of lettuce leaves.

1 comment:

Traybay said...

YUMMM! Thanks Monica for posting this recipe. I made it 13 years ago for my wedding shower and couldn't find the recipe. I can't wait for lunch tomorrow!