I was first introduced to a good curried chicken salad by my friend, Alli, who had generously packed a delicious picnic lunch for us on a beach Saturday. Out of a large picnic basket came sliced watermelon, pitas, and a big container of curried chicken salad, made with tangy Greek yogurt. As you can imagine, eating while sunbathing runs the risk of sandy food, but not this. From then on, I have always associated this food with the sunniest of days - even the yellow curried color is reminiscent of sunshine! Allie has her own delicious version of this dish, which she's generously posted here previously, but I was low on ingredients one day and decided to make a quick version that was still flavorful, but had a slight kick to it. Jump for the recipe.
Ingredients (makes approximately 3 cups):
- 2 cups shredded chicken, from half a roasted chicken
- 3 tbs curry powder
- 1 tbs cayenne powder
- 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup chopped green apples
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions, greens only
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- salt and pepper
- olive oil, for roasting the chicken
First, prepare your chicken. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Rub down both sides of the chicken with olive oil, and generously salt and pepper it. Stick it in a small roasting pan, or in my case, cast iron pan, and roast for approximately 30 minutes. You can test whether or not it's done by sticking a knife into the thickest part of the chicken thigh, and seeing if the juices run clear. The meat should be very moist, but have a slightly stringy texture.
While the chicken is cooking, prepare your other ingredients. Dice your apples, chop your scallions and walnuts. Set this aside. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the curry powder, cayenne powder, greek yogurt, and pinch of salt together. Whisk it together until the spices are well incorporated. Taste, and add more seasonings to your preference.
Once the chicken is done, take it out and let it cool. Then, with your fingers, remove the skin, and shred the meat. Add it to the yogurt mixture. Dump the scallions, apple, and walnut in, and mix this well. Serve a scoop on top of mixed baby greens, in a toasted pita pocket, or on sandwich bread. Feel free to make this one day ahead for an easy picnic lunch - the flavors only get better with time! For those in a hurry, pre-made rotisserie chicken from the grocery store will do fine. Enjoy!