Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tarragon Chicken Salad

I'm going to be completely honest, I thought I hated tarragon before I even tasted it. It was one of those herbs that just sounded overpowering and unpleasant, so I avoided it whenever I saw it in a recipe.

My suspicions about not liking it where further confirmed when I smelled it for the first time. It was musky, bitter, and smelled like licorice—and I'm not talking about the delicious cherry-flavored vines you get at movie theaters; I mean the black, anise-flavored licorice, which is not my cup of tea.

The first time I eventually tried it was at my friend's house for lunch. I winced and pleaded with her to only add half the amount in the chicken salad in case I ended up actually hated it. Since it was her first time trying it, too, she happily obliged and added less than half than what the recipe called for. When we tasted the salad we both had one of those "AHA!" moments. It was delicious. So fantastic that we didn't just put in the missing half of the herb, but added more.

The scent of tarragon turns out to be absolutely nothing like the actual taste of it when it's mixed with poultry and fish. It completely enhances the flavor of the chicken salad and takes that simple meal to an entirely new level. Mixed with chicken it becomes peppery, sweet, tangy, and completely addicting. It also goes great with tuna salad, and I'm anxious to start using it in other recipes.

Made with a few less ingredients than below (only what I had on hand) and served on Wasa Flatbread with avocado. Yummy.

Tarragon Chicken Salad

1 pound cooked chicken breast, shredded or diced
½ cup mayo
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup fresh tarragon
2 celery stalks, diced
¼ cup onions, diced
½ pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
4 oz. red or green grapes, cut in half
½ teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon green chile or jalapenos, diced (optional)

Mix all ingredients together, chill and serve!
(Use this recipe as a starting off point! If you like creamier chicken salad, add more mayo or sour cream. If you want to be a bit healthier, use the low-fat varieties. Skip the onions and tomatoes if you don’t like them, and don’t fret if you’re out of grapes! Use what you have on hand, just don’t forget the tarragon!)   
{Head on over Jessica Lynn Writes for your chance to win a Barilla pasta-sauce pack! Deadline to enter is tomorrow night!}


  1. Yummy, yummy!!!! I just made this for my sister and I at the beach this week. We ate it several times for lunch, and once I made a wrap with a tortilla and lettuce leaves for dinner. It was SO good. And this time, I used ALL the tarragon I was supposed to. ;) Glad you tried it again and liked it just as well. I am going to try it with your adaptions. :) Love and miss you!

  2. Salad is very best and good for health among all types of diets. I eat salad every noon instead of lunch because I want to loose weight as soon as possible. Your dish is also added in my list.
    gifts for men


Thanks for leaving some love!