Chicken salad is one of those foods that I forget exists for long periods of time. I don’t know why, but in my search for meals that do not involve me turning on my stove or oven (it’s been a hot, humid week in Charleston), I rediscovered chicken salad. And thank goodness.
I haven’t written yet about my deep, deep love of sandwiches, where chicken salad is usually found. Since this isn’t a sandwich recipe/blueprint, I won’t go into it now.
But I should tell you: sandwiches. So good.
Since we’ve got lots of garden greens, I thought we’d add some protein to our green salad with a generous helping of curried chicken salad. I couldn’t find a recipe that I liked 100%, so I sort of blended together Ina Garten’s recipe from Food Network and Martha Stewart’s from Martha Stewart Online.
What I like about Ms. Garten’s:
- More curry powder per serving.
- Celery, which I love in chicken salad.
- Raisins, which get a bad rap generally, but I quite like them.
- Chutney (not added in my version) sounds like a tasty addition. Next time.
What I like about Ms. Stewart’s:
- Minimal mayonnaise, and the use of plain yogurt to compensate. Healthy, and staying true to the Indian/curry flavors in the recipe. Really, the way the “dressing” portion of this recipe comes together is wonderful.
- Cilantro. I am one of those people who thinks it smells like soap, but I’ve been enjoying it more and more when it is in the right places. This is the right place.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough money to splurge this week on almonds for toasting, but that is something I would certainly add if I could. I also added a generous pinch of garam masala, to add even more aromatics to the mix. Believe it or not, we actually did have garam masala in the house already, as I am trying to get better at cooking a few Indian dishes. It is (usually) a mix of spices like cloves, cardamom, turmeric, cinnamon, and pepper, which are toasted and ground. It’s really tasty stuff. I completely agree with those who say this makes a great autumn holiday spice. Also, using a whole rotisserie chicken turned out excellently, and saved on chicken-cooking time.