Midnight Chicken Salad

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 35 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 3 to 4 servings
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Ingredients

1 carrot, cut into thin rounds

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil 

2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

1 cup mayonnaise 

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 

2 tablespoons dried tarragon 

1 teaspoon hot sauce 

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

3 to 4 small, yellow inner celery stalks and leaves, cut into thin rounds (about 1/2 cup) 

2 to 2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, light and dark meat, broken or cut into bite-size pieces 

1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted 

Serving suggestions: crackers, vegetables, or as a sandwich filling

Directions

  1. Combine the carrots with the olive oil and 2 teaspoons vinegar in a small bowl. Salt to taste and set aside.
  2. Whisk the mayonnaise, mustard, tarragon, hot sauce, Worcestershire and the remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar in a large bowl. Season to taste and set aside for at least 15 minutes to allow the tarragon to bloom in the mayonnaise. Add the celery to the mayonnaise mixture and stir to combine.
  3. Mix the chicken and a pinch of salt and pepper into the mayonnaise mixture and stir gently to coat the meat. Just before eating, stir in half the carrots. Season to taste and plate. Top with the remaining carrots and the toasted almonds. Serve with crackers, vegetables, or as a sandwich!

Cook’s Note

Roast a chicken, and you enjoy a great meal of juicy white and dark meat. After a chicken dinner, I usually end up with an assembly of smaller pieces, most without skin, and the bits of meat hugging the carcass. Sometimes I stir this into cooked rice to make croquettes. Sometimes I make it into a small pot pie with some vegetables from the fridge and biscuit dough on top. When I don't feel like turning on the stove, I go for a classic: chicken salad. This recipe also uses up that inner bit of the head of celery we always have hanging out in the fridge's crisper drawer. When I am extra organized, I make the dressing ahead of time and stir the still-warm bits of chicken into the dressing, then refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, I stir in the almonds and celery and check the seasoning. Enjoy this simple chicken salad on top of any salad greens, on toast or with crunchy, salty crackers. You can also roast chicken breasts or thighs and make this recipe on purpose!