While debates rage about the addition of grapes or how liberal to get with mayo, we’re ready to back chef Keedick Coulter of Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter’s light and tasty version.
No matter your party (barbecue, park picnic, beach bash), it’ll be a winner.
Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter’s Traditional Chicken Salad
Serves six to eight
1 or 2 whole celery ribs, including leaves
4 black peppercorns
2-3 bay leaves
1 lb. white-meat chicken, in 1-inch cubes
1-2 celery ribs with leaves, finely chopped
2 tbsp. tarragon, chopped
1 tbsp. chives, chopped
½ tsp. tarragon vinegar
½ tsp. mustard powder
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 tsp. lemon juice
Mayo to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Fill medium pot with water an inch or two from the top. Add whole celery ribs, peppercorns, salt, and bay leaves, then bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat and simmer 15-30 minutes.
3. Add chicken and poach 15-20 minutes. (The water should look like it’s just about to simmer but with few or no bubbles, near 190° if you have a thermometer.)
4. Once chicken is cooked, let cool. Save stock for later use; discard celery (or eat as a snack).
5. Depending on preference and intended use, you can chop chicken into smaller pieces before combining with other ingredients. Smaller pieces make sandwiches more manageable; larger chunks look nice and add texture to the salad.
6. Combine chicken with raw celery, tarragon, chives, tarragon vinegar, mustard powder, lemon zest, lemon juice, mayo, salt, and pepper. (When adding mayo, go little by little; you can always add more.)
7. Layer on a buttermilk biscuit, sandwich between two slices of bread, or eat it right out of the bowl.
Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter, 94 Avenue C, between 6th and 7th Streets (212-228-2972 or bobwhitecounter.com).
Photo: Courtesy of Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter