Sunday, October 3, 2010

Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad, the classic "ladies luncheon." I regularly get together with a group of girlfriends for a potluck and decided to go retro with my contribution and bring chicken salad. I went to college in the South and the specialties of the dining hall were anything-with-bacon. As a back-up, they served anything-with-potatoes.  I didn't eat either in college.  But they did make some mean mac & cheese, and this delightful chicken salad which seemed only to come out over reunion weekend and homecoming. Back then, meat and fruit together was a new concept for me, so it always stood out to see grapes in the chicken salad.  But it was delicious.  This is my attempt - 12 years later - to recreate it, and I'm pretty happy with this.  I eat it straight from the bowl, but it also makes an excellent salad, would be charming for those ladies at lunch served atop mixed greens, and could also simply be spooned onto a cracker or baguette.

Chicken Salad

About 12 chicken fingers, poached, and diced/shredded
2 ribs celery finely diced
About 20 red grapes, halved
2 tsp dried crumbled tarragon
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1-2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil mayonnaise
2-3 tbsp toasted sliced almonds

Poach* chicken and dice. Toss with celery and grapes. Stir in tarragon, vinegar, and pepper. Stir in mayonnaise. Toss with almonds just before serving.

*To poach, just cover the raw chicken with water in a saute pan, then heat to simmer and cook until chicken is white all the way through. No need for any seasonings or oil.

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