Lemon Tarragon Chicken Salad

Before I started writing cookbooks I owned From the Night Kitchen, a take-out shop in Brookline Village, Massachusetts. One couple used to come in every time they were going to take a trip (and they traveled a lot). They would have me pack a lunch for the plane that always included this salad. I always think of them when I fly and when I make this salad. They would certainly have agreed with Wolfgang Puck, chef and restaurateur, who said, “To me, an airplane is a great place to diet.” Unless, of course, you bring your own lunch.

Yield: about 4½ cups; serves 4 to 6.

5 tablespoons mayonnaise
5 tablespoons full-fat plain yogurt or sour cream
¼ cup chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves
1½ teaspoons dried tarragon
1½ pounds poached chicken, torn into shreds or diced
½ tart apple, peeled, if desired, and diced
6 dried apricots, chopped
¼ cup finely chopped lightly toasted pecans, walnuts, or almonds
1 teaspoon grated lemon juice
½ teaspoon kosher salt

1. Place the mayonnaise, yogurt, parsley, and tarragon in a medium-size bowl and mix well.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

From Warehouse to Your House: More than 250 Simple, Spectacular Recipes to Cook, Store, and Share When You Buy in Quantity (Simon & Schuster, 2006)