Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice Original Recipe rice mix was a common side dish at my house when I was growing up. I still love the flavor of the prepared rice, and this week I’m turning it into a packable lunch salad with chicken and a creamy dressing.
I used cooked, cubed chicken from a rotisserie chicken to make this a main-dish salad, but you can use leftover baked or grilled chicken breast meat.
The chicken and rice is sauced with a curry-scented dressing that’s a simple combination of mayonnaise, orange juice, vinegar and curry powder.
The salad gets lots of crunch from water chestnuts and roasted cashews, along with some sweetness from sliced, seedless red grapes.
Because the cashews will soften if added with the other ingredients, stir them in right before serving. If you’re packing this for lunch, take the cashews in a separate container.
CHICKEN AND WILD RICE SALAD
1 package long grain and wild rice mix, cooked according to package directions with seasoning packet, cooled to room temperature
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 cup seedless red grapes, cut in half
¼ cup sliced green onions
½ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons cider or red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon curry powder, or more to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup salted, roasted cashews
Combine rice, chicken, water chestnuts, grapes and green onions in a large bowl.
Combine mayonnaise, orange juice, vinegar and curry powder in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper (remember that the rice is seasoned, so go light on the salt until you taste the final salad). Pour the dressing over the rice mixture and toss gently. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Stir in the cashews just before serving.
Makes 6-8 servings.