Smoked Chicken Salad with Grapes, Spiced Pecans, and Arugula

Smoked Chicken Salad with Grapes, Spiced Pecans, and Arugula
serves 4

This is a meal-size salad—a great dinner to make using leftover grilled chicken (or a store-bought rotisserie chicken). There are a lot of things I like about this dish—it’s quick and easy to make on a hot day, and you don’t have to turn on your oven. I really like no-cook, cold dinners during the summer months.

What you need:
2 cups pulled chicken meat 
1/2 cup Spiced Pecans (recipe below)
1/2 cup Tarragon and Aleppo White Sauce (recipe below)
1/2 cup halved grapes
1/4 cup small-dice celery 
4 cups arugula
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

What to do:
1. Prepare grilled chicken or remove meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken, Spiced Pecans, and Tarragon and Aleppo White Sauce.

2. Mix Salad: In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, grapes, celery, Spiced Pecans, and arugula and gently toss. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Add the Tarragon and Aleppo White Sauce and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.

Spiced Pecans
makes 2 cups

What you need:
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 egg white
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground chile de árbol 
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked salt 
2 cups pecan halves 

What to do:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and grease the parchment or mat with the canola oil.

2. Coat Pecans: In a medium bowl, whip the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Fold in the sugar, chile de árbol, and smoked salt. Fold in the pecan halves just until they are well coated with the egg white mixture.

3. Bake Pecans: Arrange the pecans in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring the pecans every 10 minutes with a wooden spoon. Watch to make sure the pecans do not burn. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature.

*The spiced pecans will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.

Tarragon and Aleppo White Sauce
makes a generous 2 1/2 cups

What you need:
1 1/2 cups Duke’s Mayonnaise
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons simple syrup
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
3 tablespoons finely chopped tarragon
3 tablespoons finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

What to do:
In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients except the tarragon and parsley, and whisk thoroughly. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the tarragon and parsley. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use, up to 3 days. 

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