Go beyond ordinary chicken salad with this easy Waldorf chicken salad. It's loaded with extras like diced apples, red grapes, toasted pecans and a tangy tarragon dressing. You can use rotisserie chicken meat or poach your own boneless, skinless chicken breasts for super tender, juicy and flavorful chicken. Great on a bed of lettuce or piled onto a soft bun.
Course Main Course
Keyword apples, chicken, grapes
Prep Time 20minutes
Cook Time 20minutes
Total Time 20minutes
FOR POACHED CHICKEN:
2poundsboneless skinless chicken breasts(or 4 cups of cooked chicken, from rotisserie)
1 1/2teaspoonswhole peppercorns
4whole allspice berries
FOR THE CHICKEN WALDORF SALAD:
2stalks celerycut to 1/4" dice
1/4cuponionabout 1/4 of a whole onion, minced
1smallapplepeeled, seeded, chopped to 1/4" dice
FOR LEMON TARRAGON DRESSIING:
1tablespoonwhole grain dijon mustard
1/2teaspoonDiamond Kosher salt or 1/4 teaspoon Morton's
1/2teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
TO POACH THE CHICKEN:
Evaluate your chicken breasts. If they are really large (about 1/2 pound or more or if they're greater than 1" thick), they may need to be sliced in half lengthwise before poaching, to ensure that they cook completely. If the chicken breasts are on the smaller side, skip that.
In a large skillet with a tight fitting lid add the peppercorns, cloves, allspice berries, kosher salt and slices of lemon. Add enough water to go about halfway up the pan. Place the skillet over high heat and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to a low simmer and add the chicken breasts. Cover tightly with the lid and cook at a low simmer for 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the chicken poach in the liquid for an addiitonal 20 minutes. (Don't remove the lid).
Check to see if the chicken is cooked through by slicing one in half. If it's still slightly pink in the middle, return them to the poaching liquid and bring to a simmer again. Place the lid on the skillet and turn off the heat to let the chicken rest for another 10 minutes.
TOAST THE PECANS:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Lay pecans on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly toasted and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
Add celery, onion, chicken, grapes and apple to a large bowl and toss to combine.
FOR THE TARRAGON DRESSING:
In a small bowl stir together lemon juice, mayonnaise and whole grain mustard. Stir in chopped tarragon, salt and pepper. Set aside.
ASSEMBLE THE WALDORF CHICKEN SALAD:
Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid and pat dry with paper towels. Cut the chicken into 1/2" dice.
Transfer the cut chicken to a large bowl. Add the celery, chopped apple and grapes.
Add mayonnaise mixture to chicken. Using a large spoon or spatula, fold the mayonnaise into the chicken until well coated.
Roughly chop the pecans. Add the nuts to the chicken salad just before serving so they stay crunchy.
Great served with toasted bread, brioche bun or on a bed of greens.