Refreshing La Madeleine Chicken Salad
If you’re after an easy meal that’s light, healthy and flavorful all at once — enter the La Madeleine Chicken Salad. Combining juicy poached chicken, crunchy celery, sweet grapes and a tangy and creamy dressing, this one-bowl dinner checks every box. From start to finish, this salad takes barely more than an hour and preps ahead beautifully, making it ideal for late weeknights or dinner parties.
This delightful salad boasts a unique marriage of ingredients, with interesting contrast found between the citrus zest in the dressing and the crunch of the celery, nuts and red onion. Everything is pulled together by the sweet-savory dressing of Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard and a scattering of fresh herbs. Funky feta cheese gives a subtle saltiness and pops of briny flavor.
La Madeleine Chicken Salad is a beautiful reimagining of a classic idea — chicken salad — while drawing upon French-American cooking, similar to how the restaurant La Madeleine is known for its menu of French-inspired comfort food. The dish fits right in with the bright, texture-rich salads popular in the US and the UK, adding a French twist through the use of herbs, mustards and yogurt.
- 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 medium red onions, diced
- 4 celery stalks, diced
- 1 cups grapes, halved
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- ⅔ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
- Grind of black pepper
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
- ⅔ cup feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh chives, snipped fine
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, snipped fine
- In a medium skillet, bring 2 quarts of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the chicken breasts.
- Simmer the chicken for 8-10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and reached an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate and set aside to cool.
- In a medium bowl, combine the red onion, celery, grapes and 1 tablespoon of salt. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, Dijon mustard, orange zest and a few grinds of black pepper.
- To assemble the salad, cut the cooled chicken into cubes. Add the cubed chicken, onion-celery-grape mixture and walnuts to a large bowl.
- Pour in the yogurt dressing and gently stir to combine.
- Garnish with feta cheese, chives and parsley. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
This La Madeleine Chicken Salad is a gorgeous entry point into a love of French-American fusion cuisine. And to think it all comes together in an hour or less! Dig in and enjoy the union of French and American flavors!