Thursday, August 29, 2013

Curried Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans for a Summer Party

 LUCY BURDETTE:  A couple of weeks ago we had some wonderful Key West pals visiting. We wanted to invite some local friends to meet them and to celebrate summer--what better excuse to throw a party? 

I had the urge to cook, but it had to be dishes that could be mostly made ahead so I would stay calm and enjoy the party. I chose a few that I knew well and a couple new dishes.

 Here's the menu I came up with:

Hummus with crackers and crudites
Curried Chicken Salad
Asian Cucumber Salad
Tossed Salad (made by my friend Jane)
Assorted grilled sausages
Leek biscuits (courtesy of the amazing Guilford, CT bakery 4 and 20 Blackbirds)
Sesame noodle salad
Scarlet O'Hara cupcakes
Orange-glazed angel food cake (4 and 20 Blackbirds)
Italian cookies (made by my friend Annette)


The house guests were wonderful choppers and helped me keep the dishes washed. 

Meanwhile, these guys were keeping a close eye on the chicken salad. You all know Tonka by now, my Aussie.... If you think the red dog looks a little chagrined, this photo was taken after he snatched a stick of butter off the counter and devoured it while Tonka watched.:) His name is Henry, as in Henri Stentzel of AN APPETITE FOR MURDER fame.


One roasted chicken, skinned, boned
One bunch red grapes, washed and halved
3 Sprigs of dill, washed and chopped
1/2 cup toasted pecans
1/2 to 1 cup mayonnaise, to taste
1 tsp curry powder
2-3 ribs celery, washed and chopped

I used purchased roast chicken from the supermarket, but you could also use leftovers from your own roast chicken. Debone the chicken, strip off skin and any chewy bits, break into bite-sized pieces and add to a large bowl. Wash and chop 2-3 sticks of celery. Wash the red grapes, halve them and add to the bowl. Wash dill and snip into the bowl. Toast 1/2 cup pecan pieces and add them. 


Mix the mayonnaise with the curry powder and adjust seasoning. Fold this into the chicken mixture. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Dessert! The Scarlet O'Hara cupcakes for the chocolate people and the angel food cake for the rest...or some of each, which is what most chose:)

It was a wonderful night!

Here's a bit of happy book news: AN APPETITE FOR MURDER has gone back for a third printing--thanks to every one of you readers! And the edits on MURDER WITH GANACHE have been turned in to the publisher. Phew and yay!

Don't forget to Follow Lucy on Pinterest, or Facebook, or Twitter. The Key West food critic mysteries can be found wherever books are sold! MURDER WITH GANACHE, will be out in February--though you can pre-order it now!


  1. Yum, this salad is right up my alley. Grapes and celery and nuts for crunch. Yummy!

    It sounds like a wonderful party. The red Golden reminds me so much of my Queenie. She was never a counter-surfer, though. ; )


    1. Henry doesn't have that reputation Krista, but he was away from home and Yoda the cat had just cornered him...I think the stick of butter was just too tempting...anxiety eating:)

  2. Sounds like a party we would all loved to have been part of.
    Curried chicken salad with all that lovely crunch is a wonderful idea.

    1. thanks Libby, I would have loved to have had the MLK gang! xo

  3. Doesn't this look tasty. Wish I could have attended the party. :)

    Love the pix of your four-legged guests.

    Daryl / Avery

    PS Congrats on going to a third printing. Great news!

    1. thanks Daryl! we have to celebrate every little victory, right? xo

  4. Looks like you're ready for the long Labor Day Weekend, and that salad is something I could just dive into right now with all those wonderful flavors and textures. Congrats on the continued success of your series, Lucy, cheers!

    ~ Cleo

    1. thanks Cleo, hmmm, that would be a good dish for this weekend, wouldn't it? and I so appreciate the support of this gang! xo

  5. What a terrific party, Lucy/Roberta! My mouth was watering! And yet I think you could be calm and enjoy everything. I hope the gorgeous pooches got their fair share.

    Thanks for giving me some great ideas!

    1. Yes that's the best thing about the party MJ, I could still enjoy my friends! I was just about to call them all to the buffet when we realized we'd forgotten to grill the sausages. So we put everything on hold for 15 minutes--lucky, because the chicken sausages with jalapeno flecks were very popular!