Chicken salad is a people pleaser. It caters to so many different tastes—sweet, crisp apples and raisins, tangy mayonnaise bulked up with hard-boiled eggs, or spicy Dijon mixed with crunchy celery. But how often do you find a chicken salad that tastes and feels like, well, chicken?
Chef Stephanie Izard of TopChef-fame has explored all manor of meals and flavors in her three award-winning Chicago restaurants, Girl and the Goat, Little Goat, and Duck Duck Goat. And when dreaming up a chicken salad for her latest cookbook, Gather & Graze, she created a dish that embraces the whole bird.
“Instead of dicing cooked chicken breast for a salad, I like to brine a whole chicken, roast it, then pick the meat off the bones—tasty skin bits and all,” she writes. “You end up with tons more flavor.”
Brining and roasting the chicken takes some time—it needs at least 8 hours—so it’s a good idea to start this meal a day in advance. But once you shred the meat, it keeps in the refrigerator for four days.
For the dressing, Izard freshened up the creamy classic, Green Goddess, with tarragon, basil, and scallions. Simply blend the ingredients in your food processor until everything is combined, then fold into your chicken.
Looks like, once again, chicken salad knows how to win a crowd.
- 1 medium white onion, quartered
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 orange, quartered
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 4 cups ice cubes
- 2 whole chickens, 3–4 pounds each
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 cup canola oil
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 1 cup chopped scallions (white and green parts)
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 cups thinly sliced sweet onions
- 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons torn fresh tarragon leaves
- 1 pinch Kosher salt, to taste
What's your favorite type of chicken salad? Share in the comments below!