Cooking Classics: Garden Herb Chicken Salad

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Cooking Classics

The Technique

Garden Herb Chicken Salad 

Our grandmothers made it best. Chicken salad holds a special place in southern born hearts conjuring a particular recipe prepared by someone very dear to them. Highly popular in the spring, the iconic dish proves to be both comforting & versatile. There are many varieties to try & love, each suiting a specific occasion for which to enjoy them. A traditional spread of minced chicken, grated eggs, finely chopped onion & sweet pickle relish gently bound with mayonnaise still remains to be a personal lunchtime favorite – sandwiched between a few unassuming bread slices & cut on the diagonal with a butter knife just as my grandmother would have done, of course. Over the years, southerners have become quite creative in transforming this lunch counter classic into something a bit more interesting, a tad more polished. Generously filled with chunks of chicken, toasted nuts, seasonal fruit, fresh herbs & exciting spice combinations, we’ve stuffed it in croissants, rolled it in tortillas & portioned it into flaky Pâte Brisée Tartlet Shells. Learn how to make a classic well worth your attention.

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Garden Herb Chicken Salad 
makes 7 cups

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
2 {8-oz} packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
2 lemons, the zest & the juice
3 scallions, minced
2 celery ribs, diced
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1-oz fresh dill, chopped
3 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup toasted pecans

Bring the chicken, with water to cover, to a boil over Medium-High heat. Cook 10 to 15 minutes or until no longer pink. Drain. Cool 30 minutes. Pulse the chicken in the food processor several times or until coarsely shredded. Stir together the cream cheese, the yogurt, the lemon zest & juice, the scallions, the celery, the parsley, the dill, the chives, the thyme, the salt & the pepper in a large bowl. Fold in the chicken just until combined. Chill 2 hours. Transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with pecans just before serving.

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How To Make Garden Herb Chicken Salad 

Chicken salad has remained as relavent & contemporary a dish as they come with each passing decade. This version is versatile enough to use when entertaining or to have available for weekday lunches. Accompany with a selection of distinctive crackers, serve over crisp lettuce leaves or sandwich between homemade bread. Lemon zest provides a bold, burst of bright notes. Learn how to use the proper tool to achieve feathery citrus.

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Hold the microplane grater over a cutting board, allowing the tip to rest over the surface at an angle. Swipe just the outer portion of the citrus over the tool towards the board. Turn the fruit after each swipe. You only want to collect zest with color & not the white, bitter pith just underneath the surface. Repeat the process until you have collected the amount needed for the recipe. Execute this process before juicing the fruit in order to make the best use of your purchase. The zest can be grated over plastic wrap & stored briefly if you’d like to use it later as a garnish. Cover tightly & refrigerate up to a day ahead of time. Sprinkle over main dishes, sides & desserts just before serving. A wooden pick makes separating & dispersing the zest a cinch. 

The Tune
“Remember When” The Platters

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About Rebecca Gordon

* Southern Born * Southern Bred * Tailgate Queen * Football Fanatic * Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Techniques Instructor * Cooking & Baking Tutorials * Media Personality * Baking & Pastry Artist * Gardener * Runner * Retainer of Useless Pop Culture One Liners * Terrible Dancer * Even Worse Singer * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Rebecca Gordon shares over 20 years of cooking knowledge in the instructional filled original editorial content on Buttermilk Lipstick as well as the cooking class format videos that can be found on her YouTube channel through regular collaboration with numerous media outlets. Gordon draws from an extensive background in corporate publishing spanning over 13 years on both the business and editorial side focusing on women’s southern lifestyle. She is a classically trained pastry chef and draws from fine dining restaurant experience from a James Beard award winning chef as well as her southern roots upbringing to share cooking, entertaining & style content relevant to today’s modern woman.

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