Skip to main content

Chicken Salad with Tarragon ala Martha Stewart

I almost forgot. I have been asked by many of you to post this, so here you are. I first heard about this in Martha Stewart’s cookbook and tried it. It was stunning. 

I adjusted a few things and now it is one of my favorite dishes to prepare. It’s easy and the flavor is perfect. The key to this is cooking the chicken perfectly.


6 Large or 8 medium Chicken breasts, bone in and skin on. Avoid extra large chicken breasts as they take too long to cook.
One large Onion, sliced thinly on the mandoline
1 bunch of fresh Tarragon, set half aside for afterwards
1 Tbsp Butter
5 Bay Leaves
1 handful of fresh flat leaf Parsley
1 bunch fresh Thyme
1 bunch fresh Chives, finely chopped and set aside
1 Lemon
½ cup Duke’s Mayonnaise
½ cup Crème Fraiche or Sour Cream if creme fraiche is not available
1 ½ cups Celery, chopped
1 cup of roasted Pecans
Salt and Pepper

1 cup Seedless Grapes- Optional 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Salt and pepper the chicken on both sides, arrange the vegetables and herbs (one half of the tarragon, none of the chives) in the bottom of a buttered baking pan. Putting down aluminum foil makes clean up much easier.

Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and herbs,  squeeze the lemon over the chicken breasts and place into the oven for 35- 45 minutes.

Remove the chicken breasts from the oven, and lay a piece of aluminum foil loosely over the top and allow to rest until cool enough to handle. This will take approx 30 minutes.

Leave the oven on and place your pecans on a baking pan with aluminum foil, and roast in the 375 degree oven for 4 minutes or until you just start to smell the nuttiness. Remove from the oven and take off of the baking pan and set aside to cool.

Remove the chicken meat from the bone. I find cutting it into medium size pieces works well.

Now mix together the remaining tarragon, which has been loosely chopped, the chives, the mayonnaise and crème fraiche and celery and mix/fold gently into the chicken meat.

Add your roasted pecans, then salt and pepper to taste and put into the refrigerator to let the flavors settle.


Popular posts from this blog

Norfolk Style Seafood

This is such a good recipe and so simple to make. The story behind this recipe is interesting. When I was a young boy, we used to go to a seafood restaurant in Washington DC called O'Donnell's. They had wonderful food, and most importantly, they had Buck.

Buck was a gentle giant at 6' 2" and was always talking to me about his recipe. He had invented this style of cooking seafood and had even developed special pans which could be used over open flame and then it could be delivered to the tables still sizzling. He was rightfully very proud of this. 

After being there quite a few times, Buck shared his recipe with me and told me to keep it a secret. Since this was over 40 years ago, I guess I can reveal it now. 


1/2 lb Shrimp, Jumbo Lump Crab or Langoustines, raw and shelled
2 Tbsp Butter
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
Dash of Old Bay Seasoning
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Few dashes of Tabasco
Splash of White Wine
Salt and Black Pepper

Heat your pan until fairly hot, then add butter an…

Marlow and Son’s Butterbeans, Garlic Confit and Preserved Tomatoes

I first saw this recipe in Bon Appetit and was fascinated. It used interesting ingredients combined in a unique way and I had to try it. The recipe was given in response to an email from BA writer to Marlow chef Patch Troffer, but the recipe had no measurements and timing. After making it, I adjusted a few things and added quantities and timing and was very happy with the results. I ordered my dried beans from Rancho Gordo in Napa and they were excellent.

To make it spectacular, you really do need to make the garlic confit and preserved tomatoes. They aren’t hard to make, but set aside a bit of time. Make a full recipe and then use the rest for other dishes.
Garlic Confit
3 heads of Garlic, peeled and left whole.  3/4-1 cup Olive Oil  4 springs fresh Thyme  2 Bay Leaves 2 dried Chili Peppers

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and cook on barest simmer for 1-2 hours. (This broad cooking time is due to the fact that some garlic has more moisture than others). You’ll want the cloves to be s…

Oven Roasted Salmon

This has to be one of the easiest and best tasting recipes I have. I developed it so I could always pull together a healthy dinner in a few minutes and then have beautiful cold salmon leftovers for the next day.

All you need is a nice piece of fresh salmon and a few basic spices. The real key is to get the oven very hot, so it sears the outside of the salmon and locks in the juices.


2 lb filet of Fresh Salmon, skin on is best, but not essential.
Celery Salt
Dill Weed
Roasted Garlic Powder
Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Butter
Parchment Paper

Preheat your oven to 550F. Take your parchment paper and put it onto a 1/2 sheet baking pan and lay your salmon onto the paper.

Melt your butter and brush it onto the salmon filet. Sprinkle on your spices to taste and bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon. Remove and allow it to rest for 3 minutes before serving. It goes well with the seafood rice pilaf I featured in an earlier post.

Note: All of these spices can be…