Whipping up some chicken salad? Don’t you dare make a bland-tasting version tossed with plain old mayonnaise. Instead, punch it up with smoky, aromatic curry powder, crisp apples, fresh herbs, and toasted almonds. With just a few pantry items, you can radically transform a ho-hum dish into an elegant and flavorful meal.
Although this South Asian-inspired chicken salad is making its debut on my blog today, it’s been one of my favorites for years. In fact, this recipe first popped up in our iPad app almost three years ago, before making its second appearance in our cookbook. When I’ve had a long day, I just throw this salad together and serve it on a giant bed of organic lettuce mix. Hosting a party? Spoon it into cucumber cups or on endive spears for a fancy hors d’oeuvre. No one’ll guess how little time it took!
If you don’t have any cooked chicken on hand and decide to purchase a rotisserie chicken instead, don’t worry—I won’t tell anyone. Confession: in a pinch, I’ll pick up Whole Foods Market’s Classic Organic, Salt and Pepper, or Perfectly Plain rotisserie chickens (prioritized in that order). These birds are minimally seasoned (if at all); in fact, according to my buds at Whole Foods, they’re roasted at the top of a vertical rotisserie oven so that the non-Paleo seasonings on the birds at the bottom of the oven can’t drip on ’em. (Still, a word of caution for allergy sufferers: because the birds are cooked in the same oven, wheat and soy contamination is nonetheless possible.)
So grab your cooked chicken, your Paleo Mayonnaise, and the rest of the ingredients, and let’s do this!
1 small Gala, Fuji, or Honeycrisp apple, peeled, cored, and cut into ½-inch dice
Juice from ½ medium lime
1 pound cooked chicken breast or thighs
½ cup packed fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
¼ cup almond slivers, toasted
First, make the curried mayonnaise. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, curry powder, salt, and pepper to taste. Yes, folks—whenever possible, it’s important to taste your food so you can adjust the seasoning as needed.
In a separate bowl, toss the apple chunks with the lime juice. This will ensure that your apples won’t oxidize into brown, splotchy cubes—and the acid adds a nice zing to the salad, too.
Shred the chicken by hand, and toss it into the bowl with the acidulated apples. Add the cilantro, scallions, and curried mayonnaise, and mix well.
Top with toasted almond slivers and serve. How easy was that?