Thursday, April 26, 2012

Three Pea Chicken Salad

I found this spring time Three Pea Chicken Salad recipe in Bon Appetit magazine, April 2012, also found here. This chicken salad caught my eye because I adore sugar snap peas (I eat them out of the bag). I have seen many recipes using yogurt/Greek yogurt as a substitute for mayo and I was really interested in tasting/texture changes. And finally, I've never poached chicken and this was going to either be great or an epic disaster.

Thankfully this came out great! I think it tasted even better the next day. Of course, I made some changes in the recipe due to my budget and ingredient availability. 

Dried tarragon for fresh, Lemon flavor Greek yogurt instead of plain and that also takes care of the lemon juice/zest part of the recipe as well. I used one shallot. Chives were forgotten at the grocery store. I omitted snow peas since I couldn't find them.

And so begins our adventure, poaching chicken. (The recipe said you can substitute rotisserie chicken but I had some frozen chicken breast already instead of buying one). I put half the shallot, garlic, and tarragon in the frying pan. Added chicken (cut in half or quarters so it would fit in the pan). Covered in water. Covered pan. Set to boil. Once it started to boil I took it off the burner and let it sit for another 25 minutes. I think it took longer for mine because my chicken was still frozen in the middle... oops. Very easy. Once the chicken is done cooking take it out of the pan and cut it into whatever size pieces you like. Small dice, shredded, chunky dice... its your call. I think I would shred it into bite size chunks next time. Let the chicken cool before mixing it into the dressing.

Meanwhile, I sliced the de-stringed sugar snap peas. My knife skills aren't very delicate so I cut them on a diagonal into pretty bright green bites. I poured the frozen peas into a bowl and combined them with the snap peas.

Dressing: chop the shallot and the garlic very fine or you'll end up with some harsh bites in the salad. With a whisk or fork combine oil and yogurt. Next mix in the rest of the shallot, rest of the garlic garlic, some salt & pepper, the rest of the tarragon, and some parsley. Stir it together until its all mixed in. 

Then I added the peas and cooled chicken to the dressing. Put into my lunch containers and added some chopped walnuts to the top.

I ate it out of the bowl with a piece of bread on the side to nosh on.

My thoughts? Yum! Fresh! Light! Pretty healthy too. I let a couple friends at work try a bite and they asked for the recipe and said it was very tasty. This would be great for a nice luncheon and be pretty easy to make in a large batch. The most time consuming part was cutting the peas, but if you want to take short cuts get the de-stringed ones and that should help reduce the time by quite a bit.

The recipe says it makes 4 servings, I had 3 big servings because that was going to be my full lunch without any sides.

Spring Chicken Salad
Time: 30 Min
Servings: 3-4

2 tsp dried tarragon
1 lg shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, 1 smashed, 1 minced
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast (2 chicken breast)
salt & pepper
6 oz container lemon Greek yogurt
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb sugar snap peas
1 c frozen peas
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley

Place 1/2 tarragon, 1/2 shallot, smashed garlic, and chicken into frying pan. Add water to cover by 1 inch or as much as you can. Season with salt and pepper. Bring water to a boil. Remove pan from heat, keep covered. Let stand until chicken is cooked. 15-25 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and let cool. Shred or dice chicken.

Whisk yogurt, oil, remaining shallot, garlic, and tarragon, and parsley in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Combine with peas and chicken.

Option: Serve open face sandwiches over toasted bread and/or lettuce.


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