One of the lessons I stress time and again when teaching Cooking Matters classes is the idea of planning for the creative use of left-overs. Let's face it, most folks don't have the time (or the desire) to cook from scratch every night, so it really pays to look out over the course of your week and plan on left-overs from one night to feed you again a few days down the road.
Some dishes like stews and braises lend themselves to simple reheating to replicate your original meal later in the week, while others like a roast chicken allow you to whip up something entirely different to keep things fresh at your table. This curried chicken salad is a quick way to take leftover chicken and re-purpose it for weekday lunches, or a dinner salad later in the week. Whether you are roasting your own or buying a pre-cooked rotisserie bird from the market, buy an extra for the express purpose of providing a left-over meal. Skin it, pull all the meat from the bones, and chop it into bite sized pieces for use in this exotic twist on chicken salad.
Enjoy! – Steve
Curried Chicken Salad
- 1 pound shredded or chopped chicken
- 1/3 cup pistachios
- 3 ribs celery cut into medium dice
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins
- 1/4 cup large flake coconut
- 1/3 cup finely minced fresh cilantro
- 3/4 cup good quality mayonnaise (we use Hellman's)
- 2 tablespoons sweet fruit chutney (like Major Greys)
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Whisk the mayonnaise, curry powder and chutney in a large bowl until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the chopped chicken, cilantro, celery, pistachios, dried cranberries, and coconut to the bowl and mix well with a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Taste for seasoning and adjust as desired.