21 January 2007

Curry Me a Salad

A standard of every deli counter, picnic basket, or luncheon spread, there are as many varieties of chicken salad as there are cooks, but the standard relies on chicken and mayonnaise. Now, as someone who doesn't particularly like either chicken or mayonnaise, you may be wondering why I am writing about a chicken salad recipe. Because it's that good.

It's good even if you switch up the ingredients a bit, like by using smoked tofu instead of chicken, or tossing in a handful of celery for extra crunch. But it's delicious as written, whether sandwiched between toasty bread or arranged artfully over a bed of lettuce leaves. The sweet-spicy aromas of curry (which are worth the extra step of heating the curry powder) combined with juicy grapes and toasty walnuts- I was convinced.

Curried Chicken Salad with Grapes and Walnuts
This recipe is the perfect use for leftover roasted or grilled chicken, as the deep smoky flavors compliment the spicy curry, with the pop of the juicy grapes and crunch of the walnuts. For vegetarians, tofu works great here too, especially the prepared smoked tofu now available.

3 cups cubed cooked chicken
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2-3 tsp Madras curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup red grapes, halved
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
2 tbl chopped cilantro

In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, curry powder, salt, lemon juice, and cilantro and season with salt. Stir in the chicken, grapes and walnuts and stir to coat.

Tip: to boost the curry flavor, heat 1 tbl of oil in a pan, then stir in the curry powder, heating briefly to release the aromas, then use in the recipe as written.


Dori said...

This looks great...I have a chicken salad recipe on my blog that I love, and am addicted to every summer but this looks like a sure try! It's a great variation for the ordinary...I will have to try this :)

Tammie Lee said...

Yum, This is wonderful. I just made it for lunch. As I have no grapes, I put in some red pepper and celery. Just lovely.
Thank you,