Chicken Salad with Fresh Herbs and Pecans
For the chicken
1 garlic clove, peeled
3-4 celery tops
Half an onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning or dried Italian seasoning
3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 1 ½ lb
For the salad
½ cup diced celery
½ cup diced onion
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as parsley and tarragon)
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
To cook the chicken
Fill a 12-inch covered saute or large saucepan pan 3/4 of the way with water and bring to a simmer.
Add the garlic, celery tops, onion half, seasoning, salt, and pepper. Return the liquid to a simmer.
Add the chicken breasts to the poaching liquid, cover, and simmer until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F when tested with an instant-read thermometer, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove the chicken breasts to a plate and set them aside to cool. Save the broth for soup or gravy.
To make the salad
Combine the diced celery, diced onion, mayonnaise, mustard, and herbs in a large serving bowl and mix well. Refrigerate until the chicken is cool
When the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut it into 1/2-inch dice.
Add the chicken and the pecans to the mayonnaise mixture, and mix well. Cover and transfer the salad to the refrigerator to chill until serving time.