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Tarragon Chicken Salad with Pickled Grains

Hands-on time 10 mins
Total time 35 mins

Serves 4 (serving size: 2 lettuce leaves and about 1 cup salad)

Any pickle would offer tangy little flavor bursts to chicken salad, but pickled grains one-up ordinary pickles by providing a unique chew and slightly nutty flavor. I like this best with pickled rye berries, but you can also use wheat berries, spelt, or Kamut.


  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 1/3 cup 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup canola mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup Pickled “Hard-Shell” Grains
  • 1/4 cup slivered red onion
  • 8 Bibb lettuce leaves

Nutrition Information

  • calories 332
  • fat 9.1 g
  • satfat 1.2 g
  • monofat 3.6 g
  • polyfat 2.1 g
  • protein 42 g
  • carbohydrate 18 g
  • fiber 0 g
  • sugars 3 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 2 g
  • cholesterol 110 mg
  • iron 2 mg
  • sodium 555 mg
  • calcium 45 mg

How to Make It

  1. Fill a large skillet about two-thirds full with water; add bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Add chicken to pan; reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, 14 minutes or until chicken is done, turning after 7 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; discard liquid and bay leaves. Cool chicken slightly; shred with 2 forks.
  2. Combine yogurt and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add Pickled “Hard-Shell” Grains and onion; toss to coat. Add chicken; toss well to combine. Serve over lettuce leaves.

Cook's Notes

Executive Editor at Cooking Light, Ann Pittman, explores whole grain's all-around awesomeness in her new book, Everyday Whole Grains: 175 Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice. This complete guide to healthy, hearty, and incredibly versatile whole grains includes something for everyone and offers innovative new techniques to ensure the most flavorful results. From simple, delicious sides to satisfying mains and sublime desserts, this James Beard Award-winning author educates, inspires and does not disappoint. Discover a whole new way of looking at whole grains, how they are prepared, and how they can be incorporated into a healthy diet at every meal.

Also appeared in: Oxmoor House, March, 2016, Everyday Whole Grains: 175 Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice;