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Monday, June 14, 2010

Curried Chicken Salad

I like a quick sandwich from time to time. To be honest, I actually love a hot, messy sandwich stacked high with cheese and meats, and- oh, I'm off course already! I appreciate having something quick on hand to stuff my face with, but I have to have variety- GOTTA HAVE IT! Peanut butter and banana is OK, but too sweet. I usually have cooked chicken leftover from something at least once a month, so I generally have chicken salad of one kind or another about that often as well.

I like to spice things up and go for maximum flavor in every bite whenever I can which is why I put this recipe together. It's got spice, sweet, creamy, crunchy, savory- each time I sink my teeth in to it. And, since summer has arrived (well, we think it's here in Seattle, but it may be fleeting!) grapes and apples and celery will all be available fresh and on sale at most supermarkets. Chicken will be on sale periodically too- especially around July 4th and Labor Day weekends. You may not want to wait that long though!

Curried Chicken Salad

2 C chicken, chopped (I prefer to use dark meat- thighs mostly. It's not as dry, and it's generally cheaper anyways)
1/2 C chopped celery
1 C chopped apple
1/2 C chopped onion
1 hard boiled egg, chopped

3/4 C mayo (light mayo works fine; we just need something creamy and binding- the majority of flavor isn't from the mayo)
1/8 C + 1 t apple cider vinegar (thins the mayo just enough, and adds a bit of twang to it all)
2 t lemon juice
1 t cumin (adds a nice smokey flavor)
3-1/2 t yellow curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Set aside your choice of any or a combination of the following:
1/2 C chopped dried cherries (less if combining with other items in this list)
1/2 C raisins (less if combining with other items in this list)
1/4 grapes*
1/4 sliced almonds (almonds and curry go great together!)
1. Quite simply, add everything in the top list to a big mixing bowl, and combine until everything has a good coating. By the way, I have come to appreciate mixing bowls that have a rubber bottom so they don't slide all over the counter!
2. *If you are going to use grapes, don't add them to the initial mix. They will make the chicken salad too watery, and potentially go bad before you can eat all of the chicken salad. Instead, when you're ready to make a sandwich or salad, or two, scoop out as much chicken salad as you need, and mix in some grapes to just that much.
3. Add your combination of the lower list (raisins, almonds, etc.).
4. Serve over greens or in a sandwich.
5. Smile and gloat as everyone else has bologna or PB and J!!!

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