RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Tarragon Chicken Napoleons

Chicken salad is a familiar meal in many homes and restaurants in rural Colorado where I spent my summers growing up. In Denver, however, the cuisine is eclectic and international. These napoleons are a savory combination of the two cooking approaches, and have become a big hit with my family.

Ingredients 

For the patties:
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 egg
2 tsp minced fresh tarragon
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp coarse (kosher or sea) salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 slice day old French or sourdough bread, torn into "crumbs"
1 lb ground chicken breast, 1 lb ground chicken thigh, mixed
oil for the grill

For the dressing:
1 cup light sour cream
2/3 cup good quality mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
4 teaspoons fresh tarragon, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/3 lb snow peas, diced
2 large stalks celery, diced
fresh ground sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

For the wontons:
24 square wonton skins (4 per serving)
¼ cup oil for frying (peanut or grapeseed or canola)
cayenne

Instructions 

At least one hour before you want to begin grilling, in a medium mixing bowl combine first seven ingredients for patties. Add chicken, mix until ingredients are well-combined, but don’t overmix. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour (may be made several hours ahead). In another medium mixing bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, walnuts, minced tarragon, cayenne, and salt and pepper. Add snow peas and celery. Combine gently but thoroughly. Cover and place bowl in refrigerator. Chill at least one hour (may also be made several hours ahead).

Heat grill to medium high. On side burner or on one side of grill, heat ¼ cup oil in medium grill safe frying pan until it shimmers. Fry wontons flat, in batches one layer deep, turning once, until golden brown on both sides and crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain.

Brush grill rack with oil. Divide chicken mixture into 12 portions, form each portion into a patty the approximate size of the fried wontons. Place patties on grill rack, grill until cooked through but not dry, turning only once, about 3 minutes per side.

To assemble: For each serving, plate 2 wontons, spread generous dollop of dressing on each, place a cooked patty on each dressed wonton. Spread another dollop of dressing on each patty, top each with another wonton. Serve immediately.

Comments 

Fresh tarragon is much preferred, but if it is unavailable, soak dried tarragon in a small amount of water to reconstitute it, and add the reconstituted herb in the same quantities you would the fresh.