Chicken salad is a dish I order for lunch at restaurants but rarely make at home. That’s a shame, because whipping up homemade chicken salad is a snap.
This week’s recipe for Curried Chicken Salad is a bit more exotic than the standard version and makes a delicious lunch at the office.
The first step in making chicken salad is to cook the chicken. Many recipes call for boiling the chicken breasts in water, but that can lead to tasteless, dry chicken. I prefer to gently poach boneless, skinless breasts in chicken stock or broth.
Simply season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and place them into a shallow pan. Cover with chicken broth, then cover the pan and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
The difference between a simmer and a boil is the bubbles. In boiling, there are large bubbles throughout the liquid; in simmering there are small bubbles around the edges of the pan.
One other flavor trick I use is to cool the chicken in the broth. That keeps it extremely moist.
The remaining ingredients are diced celery and apple, golden raisins and a dressing of mayonnaise and sour cream that’s flavored with lime juice, honey,
curry powder and ground ginger.
The flavors of this dish really improve if you refrigerate it for several hours or overnight. Serve with wheat crackers or spread it on a croissant.
CURRIED CHICKEN SALAD
- 1 14.5-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 2 ribs celery, diced fine
- 1 apple, cored and cut into 1/4-inch chunks, optional
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup light or nonfat sour cream or plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pour the chicken broth into a medium saucepan. Add the chicken breast halves. Cover and bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.
Set aside until the liquid cools to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble the salad.
Remove the chicken from the liquid (the broth can be reserved for another use) and cut the breast meat into small cubes. Place the chicken in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the celery, apple and raisins to the chicken.
Whisk the lime juice, honey, mayonnaise, sour cream or Greek yogurt, curry powder and ground ginger together in a small bowl. Add the dressing to the chicken and toss gently to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Flavor improves if refrigerated for several hours or overnight.
Makes 4 servings.