Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Attention Robin and Emily

One of you should cough up the tarragon chicken salad recipe.  I'm not one of those natural cooks who can just throw a bit of this and that together.  It turns out too this and that.

Isn't everything better with a "little cream"?


Emily said...


I'm going to call it...

"EMILY'S Don't be a Perfectionist Magnificent Tarragon Chicken Salad (From Which She May or May Not Have Pieced Together From Her Mother's or Sister's Salads, but for Which She Deserves and Will Take Full Credit)":


Equal parts:
-chicken, boiled and cubed
-diced sweet white onion
-sliced red grapes (sweet and crisp)

- 1 cup Mayonnaise (estimate)
- 1/2 cup whipping cream (estimate)

-a bunch of tarragon (about as much as comes in one of those herb packs, or if from your garden, maybe 4 or 5 sprigs?)

-Salt to taste

How To Assemble:

Boil a bunch of chicken. Let's say, 4 chicken breasts. Let the chicken cool, and cut into cubes. Don't be a perfectionist.

Dice a large, sweet onion (Walla Walla or Vidalia are sweet). If you're like me, you might want to use two onions for more flavor and crunch.

Slice a large bunch of red grapes in half (make sure they are sweet and crisp). How many? Let's say you have a typical large bag of grapes, about half to 3/4 of the bag for your salad.

Toast about 1/2 cup of slivered almonds, either on a cookie sheet on low heat, checking every 3-5 minutes. Or, you can do this in a pan on the stove top, on medium heat, watching closely and occasionally stirring. Get the almonds so that they are a little brown on a least part of them. Don't be a perfectionist.

Wash and peel the tarragon leaves from their stems, throw away stems. Using a sharp knife, chop/slice the tarragon. A dull knife will only crush it, which is no good.

Mix all the ingredients, adding more of others as you see desirable.

Let stand in refrigerator over night. This is one of those salads that is better the next day when the flavors mingle and set in. It is even better the 3rd day. Nice, because you can make it ahead if you're throwing a party (like a baby shower, or luncheon), serve on bread or rolls or croissants with a cookie dough scooper.

If there is liquid (from the onions and grapes) just drain it off the top, and mix the salad again. Taste again and add ingredients as you see fit.


Emily said...

I mean, FIRST TO POST WINS, Robin!!!

Robin said...

It's okay - you can win me. I am very very useful! And resourceful. And a gracious loser.

Emily has the recipe right, except I use more chicken than onion and grapes and I don't use the almonds at all - too much froo froo. It is best on a croissant with a berry salad

Helpful hint: Mix mayo and cream and tarragon together before dumping on salad. I have a tarragon (french tarragon is best, Russian will do in a pinch) plant just for this recipe. It doesn't flower or do anything fancy except provide tarragon for this recipe.

Emily said...

How much mayo and cream do you use? I'm just totally guessing. Mom told me to do the almonds. But I felt like the last time I made it, it needed more flavor somewhere. Probably needed even more tarragon than I got in the herb pack.

Emily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robin said...

I forgot to say, I feel so flattered and happy to have made a title on Louise's blog! My 15 minutes of fame!

Katy said...

I've heard that real women, like my R.S. President, add fresh pineapple and mint to their chicken salad. I've also heard that they skip boiling the chicken and crock-pot it instead. I wouldn't know because I only use Costco's canned meats, and that's disgusting.

Rachel said...

Oh my goodness this sounds delightful and I feel so lucky to have put it in my file of recipes. Thanks Louise for requesting it.

Kerry said...

cream? yes.

Emily said...

Um, yeah. Equal parts onion to chicken might be too much onion. Let's revise that to 1-2 onions, as you like it. And maybe more chicken?

Last time I made it I just used the entire bag of "chicken tender strips" from Kroger (Smith's).

Louise Plummer said...

I like this. I like this very much. I like two sisters with a chicken salad recipe. Tom would like even more almonds and I think he would like them browned in a little butter (as if there's not enough fat in this recipe).

I have to admit that I have not a clue as to what tarragon tastes like. Maybe it will be familiar when I put this together.

And I don't have a clue what a sweet WHITE onion is. I would have thought it would be a red onion, a Spanish onion.

I eat out a lot.

Thank you Emily and Robin. I will let you know the results.

Rabbit said...

Yes, Louise is right. I would like the almonds toasted, please. A little less onion, if you don't mind. And three cheers to the two of you.

Emily said...

Aww, shucks!

Kristen said...

Dang! This is what I get for going to girl's camp. I miss out on the silly sister banter. And I lied, it's Robin's recipe. Emily is being a recipe hog. But I love her anyway!

When I make it I call it:
"Kristen's Amazing Tarragon Salad"

Melissa said...

I'm related to those arguing sisters by marriage. I skip the onions all together but throw in diced water chestnuts for more crunch... We like things bland around here. :)