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Chicken Waldorf Salad

Chicken Waldorf Salad
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Yesterday it felt like summer, today it’s back to early spring. My appetite goes all over the map during these in-between weeks. One day I want hearty food, the next day light. The same thing happens in the early fall, when we’re still eating summer tomatoes and peaches, but starting to see squashes at the market.

This salad makes a very good lunch or light supper for a day just like this. It’s a modern interpretation of the classic Waldorf Salad–a creation of Oscar Tschirky, the first maitre d’hotel of the Waldorf Astoria in New York.

The classic Waldorf salad was just apples and celery in mayonnaise. Over time, raisins and walnuts were added. But I’ve never been a fan of fruit in mayonnaise, or raisins in salads. So I replaced the raisins with red grapes and tossed them with apples and lettuce in a simple lemon vinaigrette. Then I mixed chicken, celery, and lots of toasted walnuts in a creamy dressing of Greek yogurt with mayo, lemon juice, tarragon, and onion. It’s like a chicken salad mixed in with a green salad combined with a fruit salad. And all those parts come together in a fresher, more flavorful whole.

Chicken Waldorf Salad

Note: A 1 1/2 pound rotisserie chicken will give you enough meat for this salad.

Active time: 30 minutes; Total time: 30 minutes

Makes: 4 servings as a lunch entree, 6 as a side dish

For the dressings:

1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice, divided

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1/3 cup (about 3 ounces or 100 g) reduced fat Greek-style yogurt

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon (see Notes)

Updated Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

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