Monday, September 1, 2008

Saving Ourselves From The Deli Counter; Curried Chicken Salad

There was a long, long stretch of time when Chefly Husband and I would feed ourselves from the deli counter at Whole Foods. Our standing get list: lemon cappellini, and curried chicken salad. Leave it to The Kitchen Survival Guide to help us save ourselves from the deli counter.
Curried Chicken (or Turkey) Salad)

This wonderful cold dish is the mainstay of many gourmet take-out shops. You can pay sixteen dollars a pound for theirs, or you can make your own and save a bundle. The main ingredient is leftover turkey or chicken. If you're craving this salad and ate all the leftover turkey or chicken, then go to the deli and buy some turkey breast. Smoked turkey breast would also be wonderful. Ask the clerk to slice it on the thick (1/2 inch) side.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Can be made ahead? Yes. Up to 1 day before.
Can be frozen? No.
Can be doubled and tripled? Yes.
Good for leftovers? Yes. Store in a covered plastic container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

2/3 cup plain yogurt (regular, low-fat, or nonfat), or mayonnaise
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 cups (approximately 8 ounces) cubed chicken or turkey breast
2 Granny Smith apples, cubed
1 small can pineapple chunks, drained
1/2 cup raisins
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pecans, or slivered almonds

Mix the yogurt or mayonnaise together with the curry powder in a large mixing bowl. Add all of the remaining ingredients and toss gently to cover with the dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

So simple, really. A little bit of sweet. A little bit of crunch. A little bit of spice. And yet, together, it's amazing. I strongly recommend letting it meld in the fridge for a good chunk of time before serving, because it really improves the whole experience.

It's great in a sandwich, spread on crackers, topping a green salad, or even eaten right out of the mixing bowl. Spoon optional.

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