Curried Chicken Salad
I've been making this for years, and it's always a big hit. For some reasons the mix of slightly spicy mustard, bright curry spice, tangy onions, crunchy celery, sweet-tart apples and fresh herbs is just right. It's also a delightfully versatile dish to have in your back pocket. You can serve it a million ways...open-faced on grilled sourdough bread with sliced Roma tomatoes on top is my favorite, but for company or a party, it makes a great appetizer served on endive leaves. The best part of all is how easy it is to pull together. Feel free to experiment with add-ins of your own, too!
Meat of one roasted chicken, from the deli at your local grocery store, cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Should yield about 3 cups of chicken.
1/3 c. finely chopped celery (about 1 or 2 stalks)
1/3 c. finely chopped red onion, rinsed under cold water for a few minutes to tame the bite
2 Tbs. finely minced fresh basil
2 Tbs. finely minced fresh cilantro
1/3 c. sweet-tart apple, such as Pink Lady or Fuji, peeled, cored, and chopped
1/2 c. mayonnaise
2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. curry powder, or to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Bread, endive leaves, lettuce leaves, puff pastry shells, avocados or whatever else you are into, for serving.
Combine chicken, celery, onion, basil, cilantro and apple gently in a large mixing bowl, so as to not break up the chicken. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayo, mustard, olive oil, and curry powder. Taste the dressing and adjust seasonings to suit yourself. Gently fold dressing into the chicken mixture. Cover, and allow flavors to blend in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving. Taste one more time, adjust as needed, and serve!
Feel free to add more or less of anything along the way, particularly if your chicken yields a lot more or less than my estimate here. The curry-mustard dressing on its own makes a great dip for chicken fingers, chilled shrimp, and vegetables, too.
* Or, if you have to bring a dish to a teacher appreciation lunch (today's occasion!) or a potluck. Or if the book club is coming over and the book was The Hundred Foot Journey, about an Indian chef's adventures in France. It's way easier than making something elaborate and French, trust me. Of if you just prefer chicken to cheese. I hear some people do.