I used to be hooked on Atlanta Bread Company’s chicken salad sandwiches when I lived in Tennessee. It was one of my favorites in college. Then when I moved to Florida, I was crushed to see Panera Bread had taken over Orlando. Not an Atlanta Bread in sight. I gave Panera a shot. It still didn’t live up to the Atlanta Bread chicken salad sandwich. Then I decided to try the chicken salad at Jason’s Deli which is still one of my favorite lunch spots when I travel to the South. I ordered the chicken salad and to my surprise there was pineapple in it. That is no place for pineapple I’m afraid.
Then one day I was watching Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network, and she was making chicken salad. Have I ever mentioned that I’m a huge fan of hers? Anyways, this chicken salad is adapted from her recipe. The tarragon is what takes this chicken salad from good to OMG it’s the best chicken salad in the world. No really. You must try and see for yourself.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are roasted in the oven so it’s healthy, but yet still tasty. Celery and pecans add a crunch while the red grapes add a very subtle hint of sweetness. I find that red grapes are milder and less sweet than their green counterparts.
I used low-fat mayo to make it healthier. You can reduce the amount of mayo for a drier salad.
Spoon some of the chicken salad on whole grain bread. Slice and serve. Time for lunch.
Chicken Salad Sandwich with Tarragon
adapted from Barefoot Contessa
makes 2 sandwiches
1 chicken breast, boneless and skinless
extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/4 cup celery, finely diced
1/4 cup red seedless grapes, halved
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
4 slices whole grain bread
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breast in a small glass baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside to cool.
After the chicken has cooled, cut the chicken into 1/2-inch cubes and place in a medium bowl. Add the mayonnaise, tarragon, celery, grapes, pecans, and a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Stir together until the chicken salad is well mixed. Spoon the chicken salad on the slices of whole grain bread to form sandwiches. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve.