I’m usually not a big fan of mayo, preferring to make my coleslaw and tuna salad with olive oil and lemon juice. But this curried chicken salad is an exception. The creamy mayonnaise and fragrant curry make a delightful dressing that permeates the chicken, transforming a dry, bland breast into something moist and flavorful.
With sweet crisp grapes, crunchy bits of a celery and nutty chunks of cashew, there’s plenty of taste and texture variation which keeps the salad from becoming cloying or monotonous. Between two slices of crusty bread smeared with a bit of mango chutney, this salad makes for one of my favorite sandwiches, but it’s equally good over a bed of greens.
Because you can prepare it in advance(and to get the best flavor you should), it’s perfect for parties, potlucks and picnics. While any cooked chicken breast will work, such as leftover roast chicken, or poached chicken; I prefer using sous vide chicken breasts because they are incredibly moist and tender. Also if your grapes aren’t very sweet, try tossing them in a little olive oil and roasting them in a 425 degree F oven for 30-40 minutes. It caramelizes the sugar in the grapes bringing out their sweetness and flavor.
Curried Chicken Salad
- 70 grams raw cashew nuts, crushed
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon mango chutney
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoons lemon juice
- 410 grams cooked chicken breast, cut into cubes
- 100 grams grapes, cut in half
- 60 grams celery (about 1 rib), diced
- 20 grams scallions (about 2 scallions), chopped
- Add the raw cashew nuts to a cast iron or stainless steel pan and toast over medium low heat, stirring (or tossing) constantly to keep the nuts from scorching on one side. Once the nuts are a uniform medium brown, transfer to a plate to cool.
- Whisk the mayonnaise, mango chutney, curry powder, salt, black pepper and lemon juice together in a medium bowl.
- Add the toasted cashews, chicken, grapes, celery and scallions and stir to combine.
- Serve over a bed of lettuce, or in a sandwich.
Yield: 4 servings
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marc’s been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.