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Tarragon Chicken Salad

(Serves 4)
Dishy recipe note: There's something sublime about the aromatic perfume of tarragon. A lovely herb to accompany savory flavors. This chicken salad is an elegant edition of a classic whether presented on a bed of greens or tucked into a sandwich made with whole grain bread.
¼ cup slivered almonds
1 teaspoon canola oil
2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ cup water
¾ cup diced celery (2 large stalks)
2 Tablespoons fresh French tarragon, minced, plus additional sprigs for garnish
3 Tablespoons plain, non-fat yogurt, strained
3 Tablespoons low fat Hellman's mayonnaise
kosher salt and fresh ground white pepper
Heat an 8" sauté pan over medium heat.  Toast the almonds until fragrant and just starting to brown.  Remove almonds to a plate to cool and crisp.  Increase heat to medium high and add canola oil.  Season the chicken on both sides with salt and fresh ground white pepper.  When the oil is heated, swirl to cover bottom of pan.  Add chicken breasts and sear until lightly browned.  Turn chicken and lightly brown on other side.  Add water to the pan, cover, reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, for 20 minutes or until breasts are cooked through.  Remove chicken from the pan to cool.

Dice the celery in ¼" pieces and place in a large mixing bowl.  Mince the tarragon and add to the celery.  Add the yogurt, mayonnaise and cooled almonds and toss.  

When the chicken has cooled, cut into ½" pieces and add to the dressing.  Gently toss together and taste.  Season with salt and fresh ground white pepper as needed, about ¼ teaspoon each.  

Cover and chill until time to serve.  Garnish with sprigs of fresh tarragon.  

By: Carolyn O'Neil, MS RD


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