Keto as a Way of Life
Almond Tarragon Chicken Salad – Low Carb Keto
Chicken Salad is one of those recipes that has a thousand variations. In my opinion, they’re almost ALL wonderful.
Many chicken salad recipes, however, contain sugar or ingredients that aren’t Keto-approved. So we came up with a chicken salad recipe that is easy to make, delicious, and low in the carb department.
Rebecca and I like to make a big batch of chicken salad on the weekend because it makes lunches throughout the week extremely easy. Also, it’s one of those dishes that tastes better the day after it’s made. All the flavors have a chance to blend and get all good together in the fridge over night!
This chicken salad goes great on a salad (a chicken salad salad? hehe), works well as a sandwich on some keto bread (with bacon, yum!!!), or as a dip for pork skins or even celery.
The tarragon brings a nice, fresh, aromatic flavor to the party while the almonds provide some texture. If you use full fat mayo, and you absolutely should, then you have your fat macro soundly taken care of as well. It’s a win win all the way around.
Ingredients – Notes
Of course, chicken thighs are the primary ingredient in our chicken salad recipe. You can use other parts of the chicken, but the chicken thigh is the fattiest, most flavorful part of the animal.
It’s important to purchase good quality meat from farmers that actually care for the animals. Pasture raised – Hormone Free – No Antibiotics…. These aren’t just words that are important to people, they’re important to the animal as well. Sure, we eat them because we need food. But that’s no reason not to respect them.
That’s why we like to get our chicken thighs (and the rest of our meats) from Porter Road. Check out their Chicken Thighs Here
Porter Road is a Nashville-based business that sources their meat from local, Middle TN farmers who genuinely care for the animals. And they ship all over the country!
If you’re interested in seeing where Chicken Thighs rank against other meats on Keto, you can check out our post where we compare 50 cuts of meat to find out which ones are best for Keto.
50 Meats Ranked Best to Worst for Keto
We put together a post, complete with a cheat sheet, that ranks 50 popular cuts of meat.
The goal of the post is to help you plan your daily macros more accurately based on the fat and protein contained in each type of meat.
It's an interesting list. To check it out:
We typically just pick up our celery and onions from the local grocery or farmer’s market.
The almonds we use come straight from Amazon!
It’s just more convenient.
Because who has time to slice almonds by hand?
Also, Amazon has the best price on almonds that we’ve found.
… how would you slice an almond anyway?
Tarragon smells FANTASTIC!
It’s typically a dried herb that you can find at the grocery store on the spice aisle or on Amazon.
It actually belongs to the Sunflower family and smells so good it’s sometimes used as a fragrance in soaps and other cosmetics.
It adds a wonderfully armotic punch to any dish it’s a part of.
It’s possible to use too much, so don’t start off too heavy-handed with this stuff.
Tarragon has also been used medicinally to treat digestive problems, poor appetite, water retention as well as regulating menstruation and promoting sleep. I can’t speak to the validity of any of these treatments. It’s just what I discovered when I was researching tarragon.
Mostly, I just like the way it smells and tastes! Especially with chicken.
Monkfruit quickly became our favorite Keto sweetener. It tastes good, has no aftertaste that we can discern and it doesn’t affect our blood glucose at all. It also stands up to heat better than most other Keto sweeteners.
The only downside is that it’s a little more expensive than other sweeteners, but we think it’s worth it.
Granulated (aka Classic) Monkfruit is a substitute for white sugar, and can be used as a 1:1 replacement in most recipes.
We use Monkfruit in the brine to lend a little balance to the meat. It won’t make your chicken salad sweet, per se. But it will help round out the flavors after the brine.
In the chicken salad recipe, Monkfruit is listed as an optional ingredient. A lot of people like things like grapes or raisins in their chicken salad because that sweet little pop brings a high note to the creaminess of the salad.
If you don’t want that sweetness, please feel free to leave it out. The chicken salad will be just as good without it. This is a preference thing.
Learn More About Sweeteners
Interested in learning a little more about sweeteners and where they rank for Keto?
We put together a handy chart of 55 sweeteners commonly used on the market today. The chart shows you which sweeteners are actually sugar, which ones are bad chemicals or natural, where they land on the Glycemic Index and more.
We also rank each sweetener on the list as Good, Bad, or Ugly for Keto.
Coconut Aminos are a great substitute for soy sauce and can be used as a 1:1 replacement in most recipes.
Made from the aged sap of coconut blossums and salt, coconut aminos have a milder, less salty flavor than soy sauce.
Soy is bad in general because it contains phytoestrogens, which may cause hormonal problems in both men and women. Soy also contains substances that inhibit mineral absorbtion and can even interfere with normal Thyroid function. Since Keto is all about regulating these things, it's best to avoid soy altogether.
Recipe Instructions – Notes
This recipe is extremely easy. The only part that might seem intimidating is the first step: brining the chicken thighs.
For some reason, people think this is a hard step. Truth be told, you could skip it.
Brining your chicken, though, makes the meat more flavorful and moist. And brining involves so little time and effort, it’s absolutely worth taking that extra step.
If you’ve never brined your chicken, I encourage you to give it a try. I know you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
I want to take a moment to stress the importance of patting the chicken thighs dry before you season them and put them on the baking sheet to cook. People often make the mistake of leaving too much moisture on their meat when they cook it.
It takes a lot of heat energy to evaporate the moisture from the surface of the meat. And the moisture HAS to evaporate before the fats in the skin will begin to render.
It’s better to have that heat energy cooking the meat and making the skin of the chicken thigh crispy. That means the fat is rendering from the skin, basting the meat and making it extra juicy.
If there’s too much moisture, the water will evaporate first before the skin starts to cook. And when the meat is finished cooking, the skin will still be rubbery (or flaccid), which means it’s still holding onto its fat. If the fat is still in the skin, it’s not in the meat. And the meat will be dry.
Everything else in the recipe instructions below is straight forward and needs no further explanation.
Thanks for Reading
We hope you enjoy this Low Carb Keto Almond Tarragon Chicken Salad Recipe. If you give this recipe a try, please let us know how it works out for you. Please drop us a line in the comments below, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or join us on our Facebook Page where we share and discuss Keto recipes all the time.
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Almond Tarragon Chicken Salad
Easy, fresh, yummy, and perfect to make ahead for: lunches, parties, snacks, whatever!
Brine the Chicken thighs for at least 4 hours or over night - This is an optional step, but recommended
Make the Brine
Add warm water to a container twice the volume of the water.
Pour in all brine ingredients and mix until dissolved.
Add chicken thighs and cover.
Refrigerate at least 4 hours or over night. Don't brine for more than 24 hours or it WILL be too salty.
Cook the Chicken Thighs
Remove chicken thighs from the brine and thoroughly pat them dry. Discard the brine.
Place the thighs on a foil-lined baking sheet. It's ok if some of them touch, but don't overcrowd the pan.
Bake in a 400 degree oven 40-45 minutes, or until chicken thighs reach 165 degrees F internal temperature. NOTE: if you go over 165 by 10-20 degrees, it's ok. The brine will keep the chicken from getting dry!
Remove chicken thighs from the oven and let cool.
While chicken thighs are cooling, dice the onions and celery.
If you are making your own mayo, now is a good time to do that.
When the chicken thighs are cool, remove the meat from the bone.
NOTE: Glove up and do this by hand to make this part easy.
Dice the thigh meat into the size chunks you like. Roughly 1/2 inch cubes seems to work best.
Add diced chicken, veggies, mayo and all dry ingredients to a large bowl. Stir to combine.
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