Taking lunch to work is tricky. First, it requires thinking ahead of time. How am I to know exactly what I’m in the mood to eat tomorrow, yet alone the days that follow? If it’s not something I love, then it’s not going to work; I’ll get bored of it, and come up with any excuse I can to go out at lunch for something else to eat. There is one exception though. Chicken salad. I can always eat chicken salad. I find myself making a special trip to the market at lunchtime on many days, to stand in front of the deli counter case, waiting on someone to magically appear, and fill up a tiny little plastic tub of chicken salad. I swear the employees at the market closest to my work completely loathe me. They take their sweet time to notice me hungrily glaring, as I tap my foot with impatience. I mutter under my breath as the oldest deli employee in the world slowly makes her way to the counter, at a pace slightly faster than that of a slug after being doused with salt. Then, inevitably, the ancient sadistic deli czar will either overfill or underfill the container, which means I end up with chicken salad all over my hands, or am left starving even after I finish my lunch. Screw that, I’m making my own homemade chicken salad, and mine won’t have any looked over bones or gristle in it.
- 3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 3 Celery Stalks, Diced
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped Finely
- 1 Cup Mayonnaise
- 2 Tablespoons Tarragon Vinegar
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Shallots
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Cut any fat or gristle off of the chicken, and then slice it into tenders of equal thickness. Place the tenders onto the foil lined baking sheet.
- Drizzle the chicken with the olive oil and lemon juice, and then sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
- Bake the chicken from 15 to 20 minutes, or until cooked thoroughly.
- Remove the chicken from the oven, and dice it into small chunks.
- In a large bowl, mix together the diced chicken, celery, mayonnaise, vinegar, and shallots.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
- If you don’t have tarragon vinegar, try replacing it with rice wine vinegar.
- You can eat the chicken salad right away, but it tastes better after sitting for a couple of hours.
- Give your cat a small piece of chicken, or she will be pissed at you forever.
- Add freshly chopped or grated shallots in lieu of dried shallots.
- Swap out the mayonnaise for sour cream, yogurt, or a mixture of the three.
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