This is not your usual chicken salad. And I have a natural prejudice against salad that requires me to cook meat and deal with it before I even make the salad. However, this is so good that I will admit defeat and tell you that this is making it into my heavy recipe rotation. This salad is absolutely delicious AND it feels good after eating it, the right amount of protein, flavor, and heaviness. So many salads are bad — don’t do that to yourself! This is also what I would call a Fancy Salad. Make it for an upscale lunch or light dinner with a lovely glass of wine and you will have the fanciest pants in town.
Brought to you by Blue Apron and its home delivery service.
Hearty Chicken Salad
On the Cutting Board
- 2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 6 Ounces New Potatoes
- ½ Bunch Asparagus
- 1 Head Butter Lettuce
- ¼ Pound Radishes
- 2 Ounces Rhubarb
- 1 Large Bunch Tarragon
- 2 Ounces Crumbled Goat Cheese
- 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Sugar
- 2 Teaspoons Poppy Seeds
- 1 Tablespoon Whole Grain Dijon Mustard
Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Snap off and discard the tough, woody stem ends of the asparagus; cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces on an angle. Pick the tarragon leaves off the stems; reserve the stems and roughly chop the leaves. Using a peeler, shave the rhubarb into thin ribbons; transfer to a medium, heatproof bowl. Trim off and discard the root end of the lettuce; separate the leaves. Cut the radishes into ½-inch-thick wedges.
Place the potatoes in a medium pot. Add enough water to cover the potatoes; season with salt. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cook 13 to 15 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Add the asparagus; cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until bright green and tender. Drain thoroughly and transfer to a bowl. Using a fork, smash each of the cooked potatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to thoroughly combine; season with salt and pepper to taste.
While the potatoes cook, add the chicken and tarragon stems to the large pot of boiling water. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Drain thoroughly and transfer to a clean work surface. Discard the tarragon stems. Using 2 forks, shred the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
While the chicken cooks, in a small pot, combine the vinegar, sugar and 2 tablespoons of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, remove from heat and carefully pour over the bowl of rhubarb. Let stand for at least 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine the mustard, poppy seeds and 2 tablespoons of the rhubarb pickling liquid. Slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until well combined; season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a large bowl, combine the shredded chicken, pickled rhubarb (draining just before adding), smashed potatoes and cooked asparagus, radishes, tarragon leaves, goat cheese and enough of the dressing to coat the mixture (you may have extra dressing). Toss to coat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the butter lettuce between 2 dishes and top with the chicken and vegetable mixture. Enjoy!