Classic Chicken Salad

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This week the temperature has been in the 90’s.  Since we don’t have air conditioning it makes it tough to cook dinner in the heat.  We usually opt for grilling out, cooking in the crock-pot, or just having something cold.  Yesterday I decided I wanted pasta salad and chicken salad sandwiches.  The only problem was I couldn’t find my chicken salad recipe.  So I turned to Cooks Illustrated for help because they have yet to let me down.
Make a tasty Classic Chicken Salad for lunch today!
The recipe was simple and the herbs it called for just happened to be growing in my garden.  I made a few minor changes and the chicken salad was delicious.  It was creamy with a bit of crunch from the celery and a lot of flavor from the fresh herbs.  We ate it as a sandwich for dinner and then again today on crackers for lunch.

Classic Chicken Salad  (adapted from Cooks Illustrated)
3/4 lb. chicken breasts, no more then 1 inch thick
1/3 c. light mayonnaise
2 T. lemon juice
1 t. Dijon mustard
1 t. spicy brown mustard
2 celery ribs, minced
2 T. onion, minced
1 T. fresh parsley, minced
1 t. fresh tarragon, minced
salt and pepper

1.  Heat 6 cups of water mixed with 2 tablespoons of salt in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Place the chicken in the water and heat until the water heats to 170 degrees.  Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let stand until the temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees, about 15 minutes.

2.  Remove the chicken from the water and place on paper towels to drain.  Refrigerate until chicken is cool, about 30 minutes.

3.  Meanwhile, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustards, and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper in a medium bowl.

4.  Cut the chicken into small pieces or shred and add to the mayonnaise mixture.  Add the celery, onion, parsley, and tarragon.  Mix well.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5.  Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Like chicken salad?  You'll love this Classic version!



  1. Love checking salad. Just this morning I nearly spent entirely too much for the pre made one at Whole Foods. I’m going to guess I could make 3 times more for less with this recipe!

  2. I’m a NO MAYO MAMA, so I make chicken salad using Russian or Catalina dressing instead of mayo/mustard. Yummy! I also add grapes, cut in half, to give my chicken salad some healthy sweetness. Maybe your hubby would like that, Pam?

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