Food + Wine

Tarragon Roasted Chicken Salad

I served this chicken salad for my Mothers Day brunch. I just whipped it up based on what I had on hand that day and it turned out so good (my mom said it was the best she’s ever had!!) I didn’t write down what I did, but had a pretty good idea…so when I went to recreate it yesterday for a picnic lunch with friends, I made sure to write down my work!!

This is a delicious chicken salad that is actually pretty healthy. There’s only a very small amount of mayo and the rest of the  ‘dressing’ comes from fat free greek yogurt and dijon mustard. It’s tastes so rich that you’ll never miss all the mayo! If you have fresh tarragon, I encourage you to use it, but I don’t always have fresh on hand and happen to believe that dried tarragon is one of the better dried herbs out there, so I always keep it on hand.

I like to use the breast of a roasted chicken for this to intensify the richness, but feel free to use whatever chicken you have.


Begin by roasting a chicken (optional, of course). I like to season my whole birds (on the outside and in the cavity- not under the skin) up to 3 days in advance and keep it in the fridge, uncovered, til I’m ready to roast. This makes the best, most flavorful and crispy-skinned roast chicken you will ever eat. I roast at 500 for 15 minutes, then (without opening the oven), turn the heat down to 375 and continue to cook for an hour.
(You will need a total of 1 whole chicken breast for this recipe.)
Allow the chicken to cool a bit and remove the entire breast (from both sides of the bone), and also remove the skin. Dice the meat. Add to a mixing bowl.
Dice 2 stalks of celery– one from the outside and one from the heart, with leaves attached. Add to the bowl.
Add 3/4 cup or 6 oz or so of fat free, plain greek yogurt* (equivalent to one single serving container…if you want yours wetter, feel free to add more in the end), 1 TB or large spoonful of mayonnaise, 3 TB dijon mustard, 2 TB dried tarragon leaves (or about 3 TB fresh, chopped), and a good amount of  kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
(An optional ingredient for this chicken salad is fruit- diced, raw apple or halved grapes are especially nice. The sweetness of the fruit is really nice with the rich flavor of the tarragon.)
Stir well to combine and taste to check your seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if need be.
Spread on a whole grain pita, wrap or bread…or just eat by the forkful. 😉 

Store, covered in the fridge for a few days.

(*I don’t like using fat free ingredients but in this case, because the small amount of mayo adds such a nice richness, it’s perfect.  Plus, if you get the good stuff, fat free greek yogurt is just strained yogurt made with skim milk…no additives, etc.  But feel free to use whatever plain, greek yogurt you have!  I do not recommend standard yogurt for this recipe, as it is too thin and tangy.)
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