Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer Curried Chicken Salad

I love a good chicken salad. It's such a satisfying meal on a warm summer night, especially when I've just pick a head of red leaf lettuce from our neighborhood garden. Yes, I have a wonderful neighbor who plants a large garden and encourages us all to pick from it. Richard is a skilled gardener, and I'm one of his regular pickers.

With curry on my mind, I grabbed an apple and some almonds to get started. I was eying a nice ripe mango, but wasn't sure if it would work, so after I prepared the dressing I did a taste test. I took a piece of chicken, apple, almond and mango then dribbled a little bit of dressing on it, gave it a taste, and voilĂ  a recipe was born.

Summer Curried Chick Salad (serves 4)
3 Boneless breast of chicken (trimmed)
1/4 cup slivered almonds (toasted)
1/2 apple (cut in small cubes)
1 ripe mango (cut into small cubes)
2 stalks of celery
1 carrot
Chopped fresh chives

Curried Mayo Yogurt Dressing
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp of yellow curry powder (or a little more to taste)
1.5 tbsp of Indian Rogan Josh sauce

Place the chicken breasts in a pan of water. Add one stalk of celery and the carrot. Bring it to a boil then turn off the heat, cover the pan and let sit for 20 minutes. (This cooking technique is from Sara Leah Chase's Nantucket Open House Cookbook and it's foolproof.) Remove the chicken from the pan and allow to cool, and then dice into 1/2 inch cubes. Add one stalk of diced celery, almonds, chopped chives, apple and mango. Blend in the dressing a tablespoon at a time to coat the chicken. You can save any extra dressing for several weeks. It makes a nice dip for veggies. Plate it up and you'll have a nice light summer meal.

Stella D'Oro Daylily

Note: The cooking technique works just as well with bone-in chicken breasts.

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