Classic Curried Chicken Salad
This week Sean is out of town, and I am eating like a total single lady. By that I mean on the couch, surrounded by magazines and watching How I Met Your Mother. By that I also mean I’m eating super easy salads, for which most of the prep work was done Sunday night. This Curried Chicken Salad is a perfect example a of single lady dinner. It took me about 15 minutes to throw together, it’s simple and summery, and its served in endive leaves, for goodness sake.
I love Curried Chicken Salad because it is totally classic, but still a little unexpected. It’s easy, but seems kind of decadent. It can be varied in endless ways, or kept simple and basic. I had originally intended to eat this chicken salad wrapped in lettuce leaves, but I couldn’t find any with that good cup shape. However, the endive was perfect: It added just the right amount of bitter crunch. This salad is also great wrapped in a soft whole wheat or green spinach-y tortilla.
Some people might question the grapes in this equation, but don’t doubt. They are cool and crisp and sweet, an excellent foil to the heat of the curry powder. Oh yeah, I use pretty hot curry powder. You can do your own thing, and use more or less than I specify here, depending on your taste. If in doubt, start with a scant teaspoon and add more to taste. I also love the crunch and bitterness of walnuts. I’ve seen versions made with cashews, too, but I can’t vouch for that. You can add any number of things you like: cilantro, green onions, raisins, chutney. I like to keep things very, very simple. Easy is good.
This is a great recipe to have in your arsenal, because you don’t need exact measurements, and you can make it your own by adding in more or less of whatever ingredients you want. It’s a perfect weeknight dinner, because you can make it with rotisserie chicken, or leftover chicken from a weekend roast, so it really takes no time at all. And definitely give the endive a try. Such a nice accident.
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- 1-2 teaspoons curry powder
- a pinch of salt
- 2 cups cooked chicken
- 1/2 cup red grapes, sliced in half
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- a handful of chopped cilantro
- green onions
- sliced almonds instead of walnuts
- chopped cashew instead of walnuts
- a teaspoon of mango chutney
Whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, curry powder, and salt. You can use more mayonnaise, or less mayonnaise, more yogurt or less yogurt, more curry powder or less, as you prefer.
Stir in the chicken, grapes, walnuts, and any other additions you'd like. Season to taste and let the mixture cool in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes, so the flavors can mix and mingle.
Serve in lettuce leaves, or wrapped in a tortilla, or on some fresh wheaty bread. Or on a bed of lightly dressed greens. Or just eat it out of the bowl with a fork, if you're enjoying a night alone on the couch with some magazines and silly television.