Leftover roasted chicken makes a great Chicken salad. And turn it a bit French by dressing it with a tarragon flavored lemony vinaigrette.
By Mitch Weinstein
For all you non-French speakers out there (including me – isn’t Google translate awesome?), that’s chicken salad with herbs. And because this chicken salad is made in what I consider a French style, I think it sounds so much nicer in French.
The great thing about chicken salad is that it’s a wonderful 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, since they’re so much tastier than the breast – but in a chicken salad the flavor of the white meat gets a nice boost, so it 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 think 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.
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…
- 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 thoroughly but gently, then taste and adjust seasonings.
- Can easily be scaled up.
Mitch Weinstein is an avid seeker of good food, culinary school grad and writer of the blog Tasty Travails. When not cooking at home, he is on the hunt for that next delicious restaurant meal, great market or maybe even a cocktail. He regularly contributes to the food and drink forums on mouthfulsfood.com, eGullet.org, Chowhound.com and others.