Spring seems to have finally gotten to Vermont however this being Vermont that could change within the next hour! The weather forcast however, is calling for an absolutely beautiful weekend and what better way to kick off the season than with a picnic! Ok, how about just picnic food? As I was telling you yesterday I will be catering a small bridal luncheon in June and I have been diligently testing recipes. The weather being as it is I decided to test out 2 different chicken salad recipes and let friends taste test them for me. Before I tell you the winner I should tell you the different recipes…
First up, a recipe including dijon mustard, sliced almonds and red onions. I roasted the chicken on the bone for both recipes after which for this recipe I cut up the chicken in quite small pieces and the red onion and celery were cut in a very small dice. The dressing was mayo, dijon, tarragon, and lemon juice. This salad was great it had a nice bite to it and fit and stayed on the bread very nice. However I think for a wedding day red onion may be a no go and to be honest the tarragon was a little strong in this recipe. Next up, I took the same chicken roasted on the bone and cut into bigger bite size pieces mixed it with toasted sliced almonds, green grapes, celery and a dressing made of lemon juice, mayo, and less tarragon. Over all this salad was fantastic. The taste of the grapes and the almonds really made the salad pop and the use of tarragon was more of an accent here and worked great. However, the size of everything was too big and would not stay on the bread. End result, the salad chosen for the luncheon is the second salad with the grapes with a few tweaks made to the prep of the chicken and grapes. If it were not for the whole wedding thing I would make the second salad with the addition of the red onions and of course the smaller pieces!
4 Split chicken breasts on the bone with skin roasted with just salt, pepper and olive oil
1/2 cup good mayo
1 1/2 Tbsp. chopped tarragon
2 stalks diced celery
1 cup green grapes depending on size either 1/2’d or 1/4’d
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
the juice of 1/2 a lemon
When the chicken is cool remove the meat leaving the skin and bone and cut in 1/2 inch pieces or smaller. Add the rest of the ingredient and season with salt & pepper. Stir, let sit for at least an hour for the flavors to meld and enjoy.