WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: There are many varieties of chicken salad, but there’s no beating the classic version: tender cubes of moist chicken lightly bound with mayonnaise and freshened up with celery and aromatic flavors. For juicy and tender chicken, we added the chicken to a pot of water, heated the water to 170 degrees, then let the chicken finish cooking through gently off heat. Salting the water helped to season the chicken throughout. Then, while the chicken cooled, we simply mixed up a classic dressing with mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, celery, shallot, and fresh parsley or tarragon for a quintessential chicken salad. To ensure that the chicken cooks
through, start with cold water in step 1 and don’t use breasts that weigh more than 8 ounces or are thicker than 1 inch. Serve over mixed salad greens or in a sandwich.
Salt and pepper
(6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
teaspoon lemon juice
teaspoon Dijon mustard
celery rib, minced
small shallot, minced
tablespoon minced fresh parsley or tarragon
1. Dissolve 1 tablespoon salt in 3 cups cold water in medium saucepan. Submerge chicken in water. Heat saucepan over medium heat until water registers 170 degrees. Off heat, cover saucepan and let sit until chicken registers 165 degrees, 15 to 17 minutes.
2. Transfer chicken to paper towel–lined plate and refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes. Pat chilled chicken dry with paper towels and cut into ½-inch pieces.
3. Whisk mayonnaise, lemon juice, and mustard together in medium bowl. Add cut chicken, celery, shallot, and parsley and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.