tarragon chicken salad

World’s Greatest Tarragon Chicken Salad with Capers and Red Grapes

Tarragon Chicken Salad inspired by a family recipe

I started developing this Tarragon Chicken Salad recipe when I took over hosting the annual family reunion. The chicken salad with grapes and capers was a tradition several decades in the making. Of course, I couldn’t resist putting my own spin on the dish by adding the aphrodisiacs of Dijon mustard and tarragon. (Incidentally, did you know that grapes are aphrodisiac?)

Chef’s tip:

The real secret to the best chicken salad is using white meat chicken that was roasted on the bone. It makes for a succulent, never-dry salad. I add herbs, lemon and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper to give the chicken the most full flavor possible. If you start with great chicken, the dish is practically foolproof. And it tastes even better the second day.

5 from 2 votes
tarragon chicken salad
World's Greatest Tarragon Chicken Salad
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins

This simple recipe for an unforgettable chicken salad starts with great ingredients. Use quality chicken, roasted on the bone and the freshest of herbs for a truly succulent dish. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chicken Salad
Dish Type: Salad, sandwich
Cooking Style: Easy
Diet and Health: healthy-ish
Seasonal: Fourth of July, Labor Day, summer
Ingredient: chicken
Created by: Amy Reiley
  • 4 bone-in split chicken breasts (with skin)
  • 1 small lemon thinly sliced into 8 rounds
  • 1 tbsp various fresh herbs roughly chopped (such as sage, thyme, tarragon, rosemary or basil), optional
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 small sweet onion finely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp capers drained
  • 1 c grapes washed and sliced in half
  • 1 tsp fresh tarragon finely chopped
  • 3-5 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • salt to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Remove excess fat from each chicken breast and pat dry. Slide 2 lemon slices and assorted herbs (optional) under the skin of each breast. Season each breast with salt and pepper and place, skin side up, in a 9x13 baking dish.
  3. Cover pan with foil (try to make sure foil is not touching the skin) and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Remove foil and allow chicken to brown for an additional 15 minutes of cooking. (The chicken should be just cooked through and the bones will still have pink, even red. Once the bones are brown, the breast is overcooked.)
  4. Remove chicken from pan and allow it to rest until cool enough to touch.
  5. Remove and discard the chicken skin. Pull the meat from the bones into bite-sized pieces. (This is the only time-consuming part of the recipe!)
  6. Cool chicken completely before making the salad.
  7. In a large bowl, combine chicken, onion, celery, capers, grapes, tarragon, 2 tbsp mayonnaise and 1 tbsp dijon. Mix ingredients and add additional mayo and mustard to taste. Season with salt before serving with a loaf of great bread, a green salad, (I like romaine), and a side of the season's finest fruit.

Pin this recipe:

Tarragon Chicken Salad - this foolproof recipe starts with one key ingredient: succulent, high-quality white meat chicken. Use fresh herbs and dress it sparingly for the perfect chicken salad


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