chicken salad with tarragon & walnuts
if you are anything like me, you go through phases with the food you cook. i’ll make one thing and love it so much that i make it continually over the next few months, then am randomly inspired by or reminded of something else and will switch over to that for a time. the best example is my breakfast cycle, which over the past few years has ranged from eggs and avocado, to scrambled eggs with a waffle & nutella, to cereal, and now has moved onto yogurt with granola and raisins.
as much as i love quinoa, and rice dishes, they have become a bit repetitive as of late for my lunches. luckily, a few days ago something reminded me of chicken salad so i decided to make my favorite chicken salad to have on hand for the next week or so for lunches! it is such an easy recipe, and has such wonderful textures and flavors that it is perfect on a bed of spinach for lunch! we’ll see how long this cycle lasts, but in the meantime i wanted to share the recipe with you and hopefully inspire your next lunchtime “fav”.
2 breasts boneless, skinless chicken
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 T tarragon, chopped
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup mayonnaise (i prefer olive oil mayo)
salt & pepper
optional: 1/2 cup quartered red grapes. they add color and another flavor dimension that is great, i’m just not a grape fan so i left them out of mine.
preheat oven to 350 F.
drizzle the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt & pepper. bake for 25 minutes in a 350 F oven – until the juices run clear and the meat is no longer pink in the center. let the baked chicken cool for 5-10 minutes before dicing.
while the chicken is in the oven, chop the walnuts, tarragon and celery (and grapes if using them) and put into a medium sized bowl. when the chicken is cooked and diced, add it to the bowl, along with the mayo and stir to incorporate everything. season with salt and pepper and enjoy!