Tarragon Chicken Salad
We feel this is a chicken salad with style as well as substance. It is dressy enough to serve as a main course, delicious in a sandwich, and so simple to assemble that you’ll soon know the recipe by heart. We adore this recipe and think it’s pretty safe to say that it wears well—it has for decades now. You can always vary it by using black walnuts, or by tossing in some green grapes or dried cranberries.
Use the accumulated juices from the jelly-roll pan to enrich soups or sauces.
4 to 6 portions
Make Ahead RecipeYes
One Pot MealYes
OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together, game day
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationmain course
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturecreamy, herby, juicy, meaty, nutty, savory, tangy
Type of Dishmain course salad, sandwich
- About 3 pounds boneless, skinless whole chicken breasts
- 1 cup Crème Fraîche or heavy cream
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup mayonnaise, preferably Hellmann’s
- 2 celery ribs, cut into 1-inch-long pencil strips
- ½ cup shelled walnuts
- 1 tablespoon crumbled dried tarragon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Arrange the chicken breasts in a single layer in a large jellyroll pan. Spread evenly with the crème fraîche and bake until cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
Shred the meat into bite-size pieces and transfer to a bowl.
Whisk the sour cream and mayonnaise together in a small bowl and pour over the chicken mixture.
Add the celery, walnuts, tarragon, and salt and pepper, and toss well.
Refrigerate, covered, for at least 4 hours. Taste and correct the seasoning before serving.
1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 2007 Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins