Chicken Salad with Tarragon ala Martha Stewart

I almost forgot. I have been asked by many of you to post this, so here you are. I first heard about this in Martha Stewart’s cookbook and tried it. It was stunning.

I adjusted a few things and now it is one of my favorite dishes to prepare. It’s easy and the flavor is perfect. The key to this is cooking the chicken perfectly.

Ingredients 

6 Large or 8 medium Chicken breasts, bone in and skin on. Avoid extra large chicken breasts as they take too long to cook.
One large Onion, sliced thinly on the mandoline
1 bunch of fresh Tarragon, set half aside for afterwards
1 Tbsp Butter
5 Bay Leaves
1 handful of fresh flat leaf Parsley
1 bunch fresh Thyme
1 bunch fresh Chives, finely chopped and set aside
1 Lemon
½ cup Duke’s Mayonnaise
½ cup Crème Fraiche or Sour Cream if creme fraiche is not available
1 ½ cups Celery, chopped
1 cup of roasted Pecans
Salt and Pepper
1 cup Seedless Grapes- Optional
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Salt and pepper the chicken on both sides, arrange the vegetables and herbs (one half of the tarragon, none of the chives) in the bottom of a buttered baking pan. Putting down aluminum foil makes clean up much easier.
Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and herbs,  squeeze the lemon over the chicken breasts and place into the oven for 35- 45 minutes.
Remove the chicken breasts from the oven, and lay a piece of aluminum foil loosely over the top and allow to rest until cool enough to handle. This will take approx 30 minutes.
Leave the oven on and place your pecans on a baking pan with aluminum foil, and roast in the 375 degree oven for 4 minutes or until you just start to smell the nuttiness. Remove from the oven and take off of the baking pan and set aside to cool.
Remove the chicken meat from the bone. I find cutting it into medium size pieces works well.
Now mix together the remaining tarragon, which has been loosely chopped, the chives, the mayonnaise and crème fraiche and celery and mix/fold gently into the chicken meat.
Add your roasted pecans, then salt and pepper to taste and put into the refrigerator to let the flavors settle.
 

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