Ah, summer is coming. Warmer weather. The great outdoors. Picnics! It’s nice to leave the confines, and even the coziness, of inside spaces and have a lunch or dinner in the backyard, at a park, or up a canyon. And it’s equally nice to do it without spending all day in the kitchen preparing that picnic. This Summer Curried Chicken Salad from The Romney Family Table by Ann Romney is a cinch to put together, and won’t hurt your budget, either!
Summer Curried Chicken Salad
Makes about 6 servings
What you need:
- 1 ½ – 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces and cooked 1 (should equal about 3 cups)
- 2 scallions, chopped [I used ½ cup chopped blanched white onions; see Hints below2.]
- 1 rib celery, chopped
- 1 ½ cups red seedless grapes, sliced in half
- 1 cup cashews3 (pieces work great)
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 – 2 tsp curry powder [Use less, taste; add more if desired; I used 1 ½ tsp.]
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp salt, optional
What you do:
- Place the cooked chicken pieces in a large bowl. Add the scallions (or onions) grapes, celery, and cashews.
- Mix the mayonnaise, curry powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl; pour over chicken. [Or simply place all the ingredients together in one large bowl in the order given.] Stir to evenly combine all the ingredients.
- Chill the salad for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to combine.
- Serve on a bed of greens if desired.
Helpful Hints & Hacks
- No cooked chicken on hand? In a pinch you can use canned chicken; just drain two or three cans and proceed as directed.
- Scallions are just green onions, and they are delicious, but may leave some folks with a rumbly tummy. To avoid discomfort, opt for white or red onions cut into rings; blanch them for about 60 seconds in boiling water, and then immediately transfer to ice water and allow to cool. Drain, chop, and add to your recipe. The onions will retain most of their crunchiness while losing those acids that unsettle tender tummies.
- If you’re going to chill the salad longer than 30 minutes, I highly recommend stirring the cashews in just before serving so they don’t get soft.
- To extend this salad, I tried adding some cooked, cooled radiatore pasta before chilling the salad in the fridge (not pictured). Great texture interest, and so good! Be sure to add an additional 1/3 cup mayo with this option.
- This chicken salad makes a great sandwich when served on a sliced croissant or a couple of slices of artisan bread. Try it this way on Mother’s Day!
The Romney Family Table is full of some of the simplest yet most appealing recipes for home cooking. There are recipes for every season, and you may even recognize a couple of copycat variations of some of your local restaurant favorites. Enjoy the season, and ciao for now!
Reviewed by Anne