Starting with cooked chicken—leftovers, perhaps, or a store-bought rotisserie chicken—keeps the preparation time short. If you want just chicken salad with no greens, skip the lettuce; double the chicken, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, and tarragon; and toss them with the dressing.
More Terrific Salads
2 tablespoons lime juice (from about 1 lime)
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 teaspoons honey mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 large mango, peeled and sliced (optional)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon, chives, or basil
1/2 pound mixed salad greens (about 4 quarts)
How to Make It
In a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, whisk together the lime juice, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and black pepper. Add the oil slowly, whisking.
In a medium glass or stainless-steel bowl, toss the chicken, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, mango, and tarragon with half the dressing. Toss the greens into the remaining dressing. Put the greens on plates and top with the chicken salad.
The skin of a ripe mango is yellow and red, and its flesh yields to gentle pressure. If you purchase a mango that is underripe (green and firm), put it in a paper bag and keep it at room temperature to ripen. Once the mango is ripe, you can refrigerate it for a couple of days before using.
Very often, ripe Rieslings from Germany's warm Pfalz region taste of tropical fruits, including mangoes. This, along with their racy acidity, relatively light body, and low alcohol, makes them delightful sidekicks for cool summer salads.
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