Julia Child

2010 Feature Update: [Julia Child's Legacy]
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DELUXE CHICKEN OR TURKEY SALAD
(recipe from The Way to Cook, Julia Child, Alfred A. Knopf)

"I marinate all of these in much the same way, in that I first marinate the elements briefly with the seasoning elements to blend flavors, then toss them with only enough mayonnaise to bind them together. This way you are getting splendid flavor and are not overdoing on the sauce. In fact, rather than mixing it in you may well pass the mayonnaise separately, and calorie watchers may slather it on at their own discretion."
-- Julia Child from The Way To Cook, Alfred A. Knopf.

Yield: Serving 6 to 8
  • 6 cups cooked skinless and boneless chicken or turkey that has been cut into good-size bites, such as rectangles about 1 by 1 1/2 inches and 1/4 inch thick.
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 to 2 Tbs excellent light olive oil
  • 2 to 3 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp finely cut tarragon leaves, or 1/4 tsp fragrant dried tarragon
  • 1 cup diced tender celery stalks
  • 1/2 cup minced scallions or mild onion
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, optional
  • 3/4 cup or more of mayonnaise, preferably homemade
  • 1 medium head of romaine, washed and dried
Decorative suggestions: 2 hard-boiled eggs, a large handful of fresh parsley, several strips of red pimento

Preliminary seasoning. Toss the chicken or turkey in a big mixing bowl with the salt, pepper, and enough oil to enrobe the meat very lightly. Then toss with the lemon juice, and finally with the herbs, celery, onions, and optional walnuts. Taste analytically, correct seasoning. Let steep 10 minutes, tossing several times.

* Ahead-of-time note: May be completed a day in advance to this point; cover and refrigerate.

Final seasoning. Drain any accumulated liquid out of the salad, correct seasoning again, and fold in just enough mayonnaise to enrobe the ingredients.