Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chicken Salad in a French Style

First, I was going to call this post Poulet Salé aux Herbes.  But it turns out that means salted chicken with herbs, and after being corrected by a fellow blogger, I decided to go with the language I sometimes understand best - English.  Although when translated correctly from French, Chicken Salad with Herbs sounds nice - salade de poulet aux herbes - don't you think?

The great thing about chicken salad is that it’s a perfect way to use up leftover chicken; oh sure, you can cook some chicken expressly for this purpose, but if you’re like me and enjoy roasting a whole bird even if it’s only two for dinner, there are going to be some leftovers. Significant Eater and I enjoy eating the leg, thighs and wings right off of the roasted bird. It's fun sorta acting like 2 cave people, and those parts are so much tastier than the breast – but in a chicken salad, the flavor of the white meat gets a nice boost from everything else, so using the leftover breast meat works out perfectly.

The “French” part comes in because instead of the usual American deli-style chicken salad that’s loaded with mayonnaise, this one is dressed with the ingredients for a vinaigrette, along with a good handful of chopped herbs including that most French of all herbs, tarragon.

I find that shredding the chicken by hand, rather than cutting it up into cubes, makes for a more home-style salad, both visually and texturally.  In this case, picking the meat off the carcass actually results in shredded chicken, so that’s another reason to roast a whole bird…just wash your hands really well before you start.

Here are almost all of the ingredients for the salade...
Toss everything together along with salt and pepper to taste. Keep tasting and adjusting with lemon juice/vinegar and olive oil until it’s to your liking. This will make a great sandwich; I think it’s also perfect served on a bed of lettuce with some sliced tomatoes and avocado…

Chicken Salad With Herbs
2 cups shredded chicken
2 spring onions, sliced thinly
1 stalk celery, cut into small dice
2 T chopped parsley
2 T chopped celery leaves
1 T chopped tarragon
4 T olive oil
2 T lemon juice
2 T red or white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste

Toss everything together gently and taste till you like it.
Of course you can make more.


  1. Well no matter what you call it, it looks delicious! I'm going to try it out as a sandwich filler for school lunches. WIll make a healthy change from PB&J. :-)

  2. This looks like the stuff they serve at Neil's. Did they give you the recipe, boss?

  3. @ Miami Danny - no, chief.

    Oh, that Neil's...

  4. You have a gift. I would never have thought of this recipe!

  5. This is delicious and oh, so simple. Thank you