A few days ago we ended up with some leftover rotisserie chicken after dinner, and that night I began to
obsess over think about what I could make with it. Then the idea came to me: curried chicken salad. I love curried chicken salad. The first time I had it, I was a teenager, and I was with my friend Stephanie. We were in the Central West End: a very hip neighborhood in St. Louis. We were hanging out with Stephanie’s dad, who knew where all the cool places were. It may have been on this same occasion that he took us to a Rolls Royce dealership to look at fancy cars. Do you like my plaid pants?
I remember that first bite of that curried chicken salad distinctly, because I wondered how something that was supposed to be a deli item for lunch could taste like a dessert. And I didn’t like things like chicken salad. And I didn’t like mayonnaise. But I did like this. Very much. And it was served on a croissant. Need I say more?
So here is how to make this salad at home. It is so easy. It’s a great way to use up leftover chicken. And it is so delicious that you might not want to share it with anyone at all. Hide it in the back of your fridge and nobody will know.
Curried Chicken Salad
- 3 cups cooked chicken breast meat, torn into small pieces
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup diced apple
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts (7 minutes in a 350° oven), coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cup Greek-style yogurt
- 1/4 cup good quality mayonnaise (Hellmann’s, for example)
- 1 tablespoon mild curry powder (or more if you like)
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar or honey
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine the celery, apples, raisins, and toasted walnuts with the chicken.
Mix the brown sugar and curry powder with the yogurt and mayonnaise (you can make this with just mayonnaise, or just plain yogurt… I like the mix) to make the dressing.
Combine the dressing with the salad ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. The flavors in this salad meld and mellow after a day in the fridge, but you might just have to eat it right away. It’s that good.
Serve on a bed of lettuce.
Or of course, on a croissant.
I LOVE your stories and those pants absolutely ROCK! Can’t wait to try this. I have a recipe for curried tuna salad that I love and I will have to compare. Would you make any adjustments for tuna?
Hey Kelly, I wish I still had those plaid pants! Thanks for the nice comment :). As for tuna, hmmm…. I have never had a curried tuna salad; I’m having a hard time imagining it. The adjustments I would make for tuna? I would probably change it 100%, like maybe making a Nicoise-influenced tuna salad, with capers, cubed boiled new potatoes, calamata olives, all tossed in a dijon vinaigrette. Now I’m hungry.
This sounds fabulous! I’ve also been working on a curried chicken salad recipe (great minds…). I love that you specified good quality mayo… I love mayo and agree that it’s worth buying the good stuff!
Oooooh!! I can’t wait to see what you come up with for a curried chicken salad. I’m sure it will be amazing. And I bet you will make your mayonnaise from scratch ;-).
We made this for dinner tonight and I can hardly wait to have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. It will definitely be added to our meal rotation. Big win! Thanks for sharing the recipe.
Fantastic! So glad you liked it. And the leftovers are even better!
My husband and I love this chicken salad recipe so much. How can I count the ways? It was delicious wrapped up in a flour tortilla. And croissants, and nut and seed crackers. Stellar and so easy. Thank you also for the timing on toasting the walnuts. I always wing it and sometimes they’ll burn if I am not careful!
Christy, this makes me so happy! And I love the idea of having this salad wrapped in a flour tortilla. And I love any excuse to eat nut and seed crackers :). And glad the timing on the walnuts was helpful. I don’t know how many batches I’ve had to burn to finally decide to set a timer!