Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Curried Chicken Salad - #recipe

LESLIE: Every so often, you get an urge to eat a particular thing and your mouth won’t quite forget the idea until you satisfy the craving. That’s me and curried chicken salad.

This is one of those recipes whose origins I can’t fully trace. My copy says “From Tasty by Roy Finamore,” but what my source was, I have no idea – it may have been the Washington Post. And of course, I changed it. In the original – or whatever it is – the curry was light. Too light. We like curry, so we used even more than I’m calling for in my version. But you know your curry and your tastebuds; start small, taste, and adjust accordingly.

We grilled the chicken, seasoned simply with salt and pepper, allowed it to cool enough to handle, then roughly cubed it. If you’ve got leftover rotisserie chicken, you’re a step ahead.

My notes say we first ate this in sandwiches, using whole wheat pitas. When I got my latest curry craving, we served the salad on a bed of lettuce with garlic toast on the side. Green grapes would be the perfect garnish – so delish paired with curry. And as with many such dishes, the flavors are even better the next day, she said as she smacked her lips. 

Curried Chicken Salad

2/3 cup mayonnaise
1-2 tablespoons curry powder
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups cooked chicken, cut into cubes
1 small onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 tart apple (I like a Granny Smith), cored and chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds (save a tablespoon for garnish)
lettuce, washed and torn
green grapes, for garnish (optional)
Stir together the mayonnaise, curry powder, and salt and pepper. Add the chicken, onion, celery, and apple, and all but one tablespoon of the almonds, and mix well.

Arrange a bed of lettuce on each person’s salad plate and add a large serving spoonful of salad. Top with a scattering of almonds, and garnish with grapes. Or make sandwiches with salad and a few bites of lettuce.

Makes 4-5 cups, depending on the amount of chicken you have and the size of your onion and apple.

"Budewitz's finely drawn characters, sharp ear for dialogue, and well-paced puzzle make Jewel Bay a destination for every cozy fan." --- Kirkus Reviews

From the cover of AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #5 (Midnight Ink, June 2018, available in trade paper, e-book, and audio):  

In Jewel Bay---Montana's Christmas Village---all is merry and bright. At Murphy’s Mercantile, AKA the Merc, manager Erin Murphy is ringing in the holiday season with food, drink, and a new friend: Merrily Thornton. A local girl gone wrong, Merrily’s turned her life around. But her parents have publicly shunned her, and they nurse a bitterness that chills Erin.

When Merrily goes missing and her boss discovers he’s been robbed, fingers point to Merrily—until she’s found dead, a string of lights around her neck. The clues and danger snowball from there. Can Erin nab the killer—and keep herself in one piece—in time for a special Christmas Eve?

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. A past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.


  1. I am occasionally struck with a craving for curried chicken salad, too. It became one of my work lunch rotation sandwiches when I was working in London for a year. They had a curried chicken salad served on a bag or baguette at the sandwich shops and it was based on the Queen's coronation lunch dish, and therefore called Coronation Chicken. Of course, one of my other favorite sandwiches was shrimp salad with bacon, a bit of onion and lettuce on a baguette. I haven't thought of these sandwiches in a bit. Think I will have to roast a chicken and make sure I have some curry powder in stock.

    1. oops, that was bap or baguette. Bap is something like the bread for a hamburger but heartier and with a bit more substance, if memory serves.

    2. Coronation Chicken -- what a great name! In lieu of a bap, maybe a ciabatta roll? Adding in yet another culture, but hey, that's what food does, right?!

  2. Thanks for the recipe Leslie! I may have a similar one but I will have to copy this one and give it a whirl. At any rate I haven't made or eaten a curried chicken salad in ages.

  3. One of my favorite treats. I generally have curried chicken salad twice a week. A local deli is my source.

  4. This sounds great. I've also done a similar curried chicken salad that left out onion and included grapes, mandarin oranges, and pecans. Really refreshing for summer.

    1. That sounds great, Grace -- thanks for the suggestions!

  5. Believe it or not, Leslie, I had curried chicken on the menu for tonight! Next time I'll try this cold salad.

    1. An easy dinner for Book Launch Evening? Enjoy and congrats!

  6. Yum. I like the suggestion to add grapes.

    1. You could substitute them for the apple -- similar sweet-tart taste but a different texture.

  7. Yum! We love curry and chicken seems to love it, too.