Curried Chicken Salad Circa 1986

  I have a confession to make. I own more than 500 hundred print cookbooks. There wasn’t enough space in my home and so my husband built a special giant bookcase for all of them. It’s hard, because I love them all and I also need to downsize pretty soon. I have a dream of going through them all and photographing the best recipes for my collection in Evernote. This will clearly never happen. I want to keep like 50 of them...well, maybe 100 tops...and Time Life Foods of the World counts as one, right? Oy vey. Please send help!

A couple of my favorites were released in the 80’s. Martha Stewart’s first book, The Silver Palate, and an old fish cookbook by Jasper White that has a killer recipe for gravlax made with bluefish (yes!). Something most of the books from that particular era have in common is a love of adding curry to dishes that don’t typically ask for it. I guess it was a thing back then? Curried chicken salad was definitely THE thing in those days. I have a nostalgic memory of my grandmother making it and loving every bite, except the ones with raisins. Raisins are my nemesis. Always were and always have been.

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My chicken salad has pretty standard ingredients, but there is one that is new to me this year and I LOVE it! It is a curry paste in a tube from a company called Entube and it is fiery, fresh, and delightfully authentic. They also make harissa, molé, and umeboshi pastes. I highly recommend their products and at the moment, you can grab a tube at Bartlett’s Farm if you’re on island. If not, the internet is your bff.

If you need yet another chicken salad recipe (or tofu, if you’re into that sort of thing), then look no further. And be careful with that curry paste-it’s hot af and you might want to supplement it with some milder powder to keep the heat down. Okay! Ready, set, go!

Curried Chicken Salad

Ingredients

1 whole roasted chicken, torn and/or cut up into bite sized pieces. (Yes, it can be a rotisserie!)

Juice of two limes and the zest of one

2 stalks of celery, cut in fine dice

1 tiny red onion (or a quarter of a bigger one), minced finely

1/2 of a Granny Smith Apple, peeled, cored and finely diced

1 teaspoon of Entube Curry Paste (or less of you’re sensitive to heat)

1-2 teaspoons of less spicy curry powder (optional)

1/2-3/4 cup of mayonnaise, either Hellman’s or your own

1 tablespoon of Major Grey’s Chutney (avoiding the few super secret raisins hidden in the jar)

Salt to taste-about a teaspoon or so

A big handful of chopped cilantro

A big handful of toasted, slivered almonds

Method

Squeeze the lime juice onto the chicken in a large bowl. Fold in the zest and the rest of the ingredients, except the almonds. Serve in a pretty bowl with the nuts sprinkled on top.

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