The Best Chicken Salad

Gently poaching chicken breasts in an aromatic broth yields tender morsels for folding into a bright and herby homemade dressing. Serve it solo on a bed of lettuce with sliced tomatoes or in half an avocado. It also makes a killer chicken club sandwich topped with crisp bacon and other sandwich fixings.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1 cup prepared or homemade mayonnaise

2 teaspoons strained freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 cups diced poached chicken, recipe follows

1 stalk celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice

2 tablespoons shallot, cut into 1/4-inch dice

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Sliced chives, for garnish

Poached Chicken for Salads:

10 sprigs parsley

2 sprigs thyme

1 small onion, halved

1 small carrot, halved

1 stalk celery, halved

3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves, fat trimmed

5 to 6 cups chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium store bought


  1. Whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, 1 tablespoon salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl.
  2. Toss together the chicken, celery, shallot, dill and parsley in a large bowl.
  3. Add the dressing to the chicken and mix gently until combined. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to overnight to meld flavors. Garnish with chives.

Poached Chicken for Salads:

  1. Put the parsley, thyme, onion, carrot, celery and chicken breasts in a medium saucepan. Cover with the broth and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low and cover. Poach the chicken until firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, uncover and cool the chicken in the liquid for 30 minutes.
  2. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and reserve the liquid. Bone and skin the chicken and roughly chop the meat into about 1/2-inch pieces. Discard the bones and skin.
  3. Strain the broth and store, covered, in the refrigerator for 3 days or freeze for later use. Remove any fat from the surface of the broth before using.