Chicken Salad Veronique

A few years ago at my best friend Catherine's bridal shower, I had the best chicken salad. Ever.

Here's us at her Minnesota wedding in 2009...

The chicken salad has haunted me since. Why was it so good? It was unlike any other that I'd ever had.

It had grapes in it.


And it was wonderful.

So when I was planning Shaun's birthday, I decided to finally give it a try. Of course I consulted my girl Ina Garten and found the easiest recipe ever. Once you go veronique, you won't ever go back! The fresh grapes in this salad give this classic dish a fresh burst of flavor while using roasted chicken kept the salad moist and well, simply fantastic. You won't ever go back to shredded chicken again. Oh and did I mention that this dish was the surprise hit of the night? Don't be weirded out by the grapes. I promise. It's wonderful.

Chicken Salad Veronique
*Adapted from Ina Garten
2 whole chicken breasts, with bone and skin on
1/2 C mayonnaise
1 C celery, finely diced
1 C green grapes, cut in half
1 tbsp fresh tarragon, minced
olive oil
kosher salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. On a sheet pan, layered with foil, place the chicken breasts, skin side up. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes until completely cooked. We broke out our trusty meat thermometer to make sure it was done without hacking up the meat. Meanwhile cut up the celery and grapes.

Once the chicken has cooled, cut the meat off the bone and throw away the bone and skin. Cut the chicken into cubes. Add to a large mixing bowl and stir in mayonnaise, tarragon, celery, and grapes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

I served this so that guests could either put on a roll or eat with a fork. I prefer it on a plate with a fork, but its also great on toast!

So there you have it. A fantastic, easy salad that it absolutely perfect for any event, from an elegant soiree to a weekday lunch. I had actually made a double batch of this for the party and hardly had any leftovers!

So what do you think? Do you like adding fruit to your dishes? Have you ever tried to recreate a party dish in your own kitchen?

I added a cut up apple to my salad yesterday and I was in heaven!