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Tarragon Chicken and Watercress Ficelle Sandwiches with Herb Mayonnaise

Chicken and tarragon work in tandem to bring a summery feel to these picnic-ready sandwiches.

  • Yield: Makes 5

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2006


  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast half (about 7 ounces)
  • 6 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
  • 8 fresh tarragon sprigs, plus 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 ficelle (about 22 inches long), halved horizontally, keeping 1 edge intact
  • 1/4 bunch watercress


  1. Combine the chicken, stock, tarragon sprigs, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and bay leaf in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board, and let cool completely.

  2. Stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, and garlic. Stir in chopped herbs. Spread 3 tablespoons herb mayonnaise over cut sides of the ficelle.

  3. Cut chicken crosswise on the diagonal into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Lay chicken slices on bottom half of ficelle, overlapping slightly. Top with watercress.

  4. Cut the sandwich on the diagonal into 4-inch pieces; discard ends. Wrap each sandwich in parchment paper.


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