My love for food and flavor combinations began early on in my childhood. I grew up in Massachusetts and on the beaches of Florida, where seafood was a common dinner item. Lots of lobster, shrimp, yellow-tail snapper and weekend clambakes. There was one evening I remember quite well. Something new was being served that night. Mussels. Dark black, small, clam like mollusks. At first try, they were a bit off-putting, stronger than what I was used to. For some reason, I decided to add some GREY POUPON mustard to the drawn butter that was at my side. I don't know what made me think to use that, however I dipped the mussel into my concoction and I have never been the same since. This became my "broth". My cousins coined the phrase when I began frequently preparing it at family gatherings. They still tease me to this day.
On the surface, my story doesn't have much to do with the recipe, it only points to what I have become 32 years later. On my journey as a christian women, wife and mom, the Lord has placed ladies in my life that have encouraged and nurtured my desire to make fun, interesting, healthy meals for my family and friends. Yes, there has been the Food Network and Martha Stewart, but most importantly, it has been ladies that have gone before me, modeling the priority of making homemade meals and serving others through hospitality...reaching out to neighbors and befriending people in need, sometimes when we are least prepared.
This chicken salad was born from two relationships that came together to present a Ladies Tea at my church. My one friend brought her love for hospitality, the other, a grandma's recipe.
So...with that I present to you....Tarragon Chicken Salad with Apricot Preserves. For sandwiches at lunch or tea, it sits upon a layer of sweet apricot preserves, between a butter croissant or white bread. It also goes beautifully with a rustic, grainy whole-wheat bread. Or open-faced on a TOASTED english muffin. I also serve it on top of buttery bibb lettuce alongside crunchy, red grapes. Either way...the flavors meld wonderfully together. I hope you enjoy it and that it might be found being shared among friends and neighbors...for a tea, a lunch or for no reason at all.
- 4 roasted bone-in chicken breasts.
- 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp. sugar or agave nectar
- 2 Tbsp. vinegar
- 1/2 cup toasted almonds or pecans, crumbled
- 2 Tbsp. Tarragon
- a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Apricot jelly or preserves
- Bread or lettuce greens of choice
- In a large bowl, stir together mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar. Set aside.
- Remove the skin from the chicken and de-bone the breast meat.
- Slice the chicken and dice it into bite-sized pieces.
- Add chicken to the bowl and fold into the mayonnaise.
- Add pecans and tarragon.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
|(This has nothing to do with the current recipe)|