This chicken salad is made with grilled chicken thighs and combined with red peppers and celery for a fresh taste and added crunch. It is dressed with a creamy tarragon aioli that is full of flavor from garlic, chives and parsley.
When I use tarragon in a recipe, the first impression I get is that it smells and tastes quite a bit like licorice. It is a fairly strong herb and by itself, the flavor may overpower the food it is used with. However, I like to mix it with other herbs and find that tarragon combines with the herbs to make a complex and very flavorful addition to the recipe.
What is aioli and how do you make it?
Aioli and mayonnaise are similar since they both are creamy condiments with egg yolks as a base. They are usually added to salads, dips and made into sauces for meats and seafood. However, aioli is made with garlic and olive oil. Homemade mayonnaise and aioli are so easy to make and the texture and flavor are far superior to store bought. It will take your chicken salad from good to extra special.
To make the aioli you begin by whisking the egg yolk, garlic and the lemon juice. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, about a tablespoon at a time. Continue whisking until all oil has been drizzled in and aioli has thickened. Stir the herbs into the aioli.
Is it safe to eat raw egg yolks?
To reduce any risk of illness, it is recommended to use pasteurized eggs in a homemade aioli or mayonnaise. This article from the USDA discusses the safety of eating pasteurized eggs.
How do you make chicken salad with tarragon aioli?
- Grill, bake or fry boneless, skinless chicken thighs. You can use chicken breast, but thighs are more flavorful. Make sure chicken is cooked to 165°. Let cool.
- Cut chicken into bite-size cubes.
- Chop red bell pepper into small pieces
- Chop two stalks of celery into small pieces.
- Mix chicken and vegetables with the tarragon aioli. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
- I chose to keep it low carb and served the salad on lettuce, but you could put it in a sandwich or eat with some crackers.
- The chicken salad with tarragon aioli will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- It is not recommended to freeze emulisified/oil based sauces since they will separate when thawed and not taste very good.
Grilled chicken thighs with a homemade tarragon aioli is not your everyday chicken salad. Tarragon, chives, garlic and parsley are the perfect combination of herbs for a very flavorful aioli.
- 4 boneless, grilled or baked chicken thighs, chopped to bite size pieces
- 2 stalks celery, cut into small slices
- 1 small red pepper, cut into small slices
- 1 egg yolk ***
- 2 TB. lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- 1/2 cup light olive oil *
- 1 TB fresh minced tarragon (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1 TB fresh minced chives ( or 1 tsp dried)
- 1–2 TB fresh minced parsley (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- Grill or bake chicken thighs to 165°. Let cool..
- Chop into small pieces and add to a bowl.
- Mix in red pepper and celery. Set aside
- Make tarragon aioli: ** With a fork, quickly whisk the egg yolk with garlic and lemon juice. You will see it begin to thicken. Slowly add the olive oil, about 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking the entire time. Continue until all the oil is added. Mix in the salt, pepper and herbs.
- Add in the chopped chicken and vegetables.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
*If the aioli is too thick for your preference, you can add an additional 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.
** You can also use an immersion blender to mix in the olive oil. Just make sure you whisk the egg first, before adding oil.
***If you prefer not to make the aioli with the raw egg yolk, you can still make this chicken salad! Just mix about a 1/2 cup of your preferred mayonnaise with the herbs and garlic. Combine with the chicken and vegetables, and you will have your own version of this recipe.
- Category: Salad
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Chicken Salad with Tarragon Aioli