This Tarragon Chicken salad is a refreshing and flavorful summer salad. Succulent shredded chicken is coated in a creamy dressing and complemented by the freshness of asparagus, pungent flavor of tarragon and the buttery cannellini beans. Serve it on a bed of greens or between two slices of bread for lunch or a light dinner.
❤️ Why You'll Love This Tarragon Chicken Salad
- Versatile and Customizable: Whether you prefer crunchy asparagus, sweet grapes, or nutty almonds, you can easily customize it to suit your taste.
- Quick and Easy: With minimal prep time and simple ingredients, tarragon chicken salad is a convenient option for a quick and satisfying meal. It's perfect for busy weekdays or when you're short on time but still crave something delicious.
- Perfect for Meal Prep: Make a batch of tarragon chicken salad in advance, and you'll have a delicious and nutritious option ready to enjoy throughout the week.
- Packed with Protein: Chicken is a great source of lean protein, making this salad a satisfying and nourishing option. It keeps you feeling full and energized, supporting a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
- Classic with a Twist: Tarragon chicken salad offers a delightful twist on the classic chicken salad recipe. Its unique blend of flavors and textures adds a touch of sophistication and elevates the dish to new culinary heights.
- Use freshly cooked chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken. You can also use canned chicken if needed.
- Blanching the asparagus helps to retain its vibrant green color and crisp texture. Be careful not to overcook it.
- Adjust the seasoning to your taste preferences. You can add more salt, pepper, or lemon zest for an extra kick of flavor.
- To make the salad more filling, you can add additional ingredients such as diced avocado, chopped celery, or sliced grapes.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Asparagus: Look for fresh and tender asparagus spears. Trim the woody ends before blanching to ensure a crisp and flavorful addition to your salad.
- Shredded Chicken: You can use cooked and shredded chicken breasts for convenience. Alternatively, cook raw chicken breasts and shred them for a moist and tender texture.
- Great Northern or Cannellini Beans: Both types of beans work well in this recipe, providing a creamy and nutritious element. Rinse them thoroughly to remove any excess salt or brine.
- Walnuts or Pecans: Choose your preferred nut to add a delightful crunch and nutty flavor to the salad. Feel free to toast them lightly for extra depth of flavor.
- Tarragon Leaves: Fresh tarragon leaves are essential to infuse the salad with their distinct anise-like flavor. Chop or cut the leaves into smaller pieces to distribute the flavor evenly throughout the salad.
- Mayonnaise: Opt for a high-quality mayonnaise brand, like Hellmann's, for a creamy and rich dressing.
- Sour Cream or Crème Fraîche: Both options work well, so use whichever you prefer or have on hand.
- Lemon Zest: It adds freshness and enhances the overall flavor profile.
- Garlic: Use fresh garlic cloves for maximum flavor. Finely mince or grate the garlic to release its aromatic essence into the dressing.
- Dijon Mustard: A small amount of Dijon mustard adds a subtle tang and depth of flavor to the dressing.
- Salt and Ground Black Pepper
How to Make Tarragon Chicken Salad
- In a medium-sized pot, bring salted water to a boil. Prepare a bowl filled with ice and cold water. Place the trimmed asparagus in the boiling water and cook for about 1-2 minutes until they are tender but still firm. Remove and immediately transfer it to the ice bath for 5 minutes to stop the cooking process. Drain and gently pat it dry.
- Slice diagonally into bite-sized pieces.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream (or crème fraîche), finely grated lemon zest, minced garlic cloves, Dijon mustard, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Keep whisking until all the ingredients are well combined and the dressing has a smooth and creamy consistency.
- Add the cooked chicken to a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the chicken and gently toss to coat it evenly.
- Next, add the cooked asparagus, beans, nuts, and tarragon leaves to the bowl, and toss all the ingredients together until combined. Taste the salad and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt if necessary.
Tarragon Chicken Salad Variations
- Cranberry Twist: Add a handful of dried cranberries for a sweet and tart flavor contrast.
- Fruity Burst: Incorporate diced apples or grapes for a burst of freshness and natural sweetness.
- Herb Infusion: Experiment with other herbs like parsley, basil, or dill to enhance the herbal complexity.
- Spicy Kick: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a drizzle of hot sauce to bring some heat to the salad.
- Mediterranean Twist: Toss in some chopped Kalamata olives and feta cheese for a Mediterranean-inspired twist.
- Tangy Yogurt: Replace a portion of the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt for a lighter and tangier dressing.
How to Serve It
- Classic Salad: Serve it as a standalone dish on a bed of fresh salad greens, such as lettuce or mixed greens, for a light and satisfying meal.
- Sandwich: Spread it between two slices of bread to make a flavorful sandwich.
- Wraps or Roll-Ups: Roll it in a tortilla or flatbread to create a tasty wrap. Add additional ingredients like avocado, cucumber, or sprouts.
- Stuffed Vegetables: Scoop it into hollowed-out tomatoes, bell peppers, or avocado halves for a creative and visually appealing presentation.
- Canapés or Finger Sandwiches: Top small pieces of bread or crackers with a spoonful of this salad to create elegant canapés or bite-sized finger sandwiches for parties or gatherings.
- Lettuce Wraps: Use large lettuce leaves, such as romaine or butter lettuce, as a wrap to enjoy it as a low-carb and refreshing option.
- Platter or Buffet Style: Present it as part of a larger buffet spread, allowing guests to serve themselves and enjoy it alongside other dishes.
Avoid leaving it at room temperature for more than two hours. Instead, store it in the refrigerator where it can remain fresh for up to 3 to 4 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can substitute Great Northern or cannellini beans with other types such as chickpeas or kidney beans based on your preference or what you have on hand.
Absolutely! If you have a nut allergy or prefer not to include nuts, you can simply leave them out. The salad will still be delicious and flavorful.
We don't recommended to freeze this salad as the texture and taste may be affected. It is best enjoyed fresh or stored in the refrigerator for a few days.
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