Y’all might not know this but Dallas is the home of Neiman Marcus department stores. Yeah, I know you all thought that Texas is full of a bunch of rootin’ tootin’ cowboys and cowgirls that just wear a bunch of denim, 10-gallon hats, and carry quilted handbags. You would be wrong.
Inside the flagship Neiman Marcus store in downtown Dallas, there is a delightfully fancy restaurant called The Zodiac Room. The Zodiac Room has become famous for many of their recipes including chicken salad, popovers, and cheddar biscuits. The store put out a cookbook years ago and it is considered a prized possession among Dallas socialites. By using the recipes in that book, you will have the most divine luncheon that your guests will continue to talk about for days afterward.
The chicken salad is very easy to make but tastes like a million bucks! Serve it on a fancy plate, be sure to get out the cloth napkins, and you have yourself a lunch fit for a queen!
- 1 T. butter
- 3/4 c. chopped pecans
- 1 c. mayonnaise
- 2 T. chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 t. lemon zest
- 1 T. fresh lemon juice
- 4 cups chopped cooked chicken breasts
- 1 1/2 c. diced Granny Smith apples
- 1 c. diced celery
- 1/4 c. finely diced red onion
- Melt butter in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add pecans, and cook, stirring constantly, 6 to 8 minutes or until toasted and fragrant.
- Whisk together mayonnaise and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in the chicken and next 3 ingredients just until blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill 2 to 24 hours; stir in 1/2 c. toasted pecans just before serving. Sprinkle with remaining pecans.
Yields 6 cups.