Lemon-Tarragon Chicken Salad

I just finished up a fabulous vacation in Kiawah Island followed by a wedding in Lexington, Kentucky.  Therefore I was away from work and home for a solid 8 days and needless to say I enjoyed all the excuses of vacation…which was basically splurging on food and drink!  A few afternoon margaritas on the beach followed by appetizers and dinner left me fat and happy!  Unfortunately reality had to eventually set in and I had to refrain from cooking big dinners this week for the sake of my waist and therefore resorted to sandwich night.  Sandwich night backfired slightly because it included homemade croissants and chicken salad that I found to be so delicious that I ended up being stuffed from my “lighter” dinner!  This chicken salad recipe caught my eye because I grew up eating a similar chicken salad sandwich at a restaurant growing up that had a lemon flavor that I loved. This recipe I think surpassed the one of my memories and will be my go to recipe from now on.  Beware though, sandwich night is only a lighter meal if you only have one sandwich….and this recipe will make that almost impossible!

Lemon-Tarragon Chicken Salad

adapted from Epicurious.com

  • 1 1/4 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast halves (about 3)
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Bring large saucepan of salted water to boil (I like to add a bay leaf for a little flavor). Add chicken breasts; reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until chicken is just cooked through, about 12 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate; cool.

Mix celery, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, onion, tarragon, lemon juice, and lemon peel in large bowl to blend. Cut chicken into 1/2-inch cubes (or throw into your Kitchenaid with a paddle attachment, which is great to shred chicken); stir into mayonnaise mixture. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover; chill.)

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