Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sarah's Curried Chicken Salad

At Harcourt, we loved food.  The children's marketing department was often the epicenter for food at the company and we would use any excuse as a reason to bring in some tasty treats.  We all had skills in the kitchen from beginner to advanced, and our palates varied enough that we often had dishes that ran the gamut from sweet to savory.

Sampling each others culinary output led to the inevitable recipe sharing.  One of the publicists, Sarah, brought this salad to a picnic and I recently came across the recipe as I was flipping through my file looking for inspiration.  Steve thought it was high time I made this again (I have only made this one other time), so we had it for dinner last night.

The recipe can be adapted easily and stands up just fine without the pasta.

Curried Chicken Pasta Salad

2-3 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1 lb medium shell (or orecchiette, or macaroni) pasta noodles, cooked and drained
1/2 cup golden or regular raisins
1/4 to 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced green onion
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup mango chutney
2 tsp curry powder
1 cup mayo or Miracle Whip
1 tsp ground turmeric
salt & pepper to taste

Mix chicken and pasta shells, if using, in a large bowl.  Add raisins, almonds, celery, and green onion.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Mix dressing ingredients - chutney, curry, mayo, turmeric - in a separate bowl and spoon/pour over the other ingredients.  Toss well to coat.  Add apple and toss again.  Chill until ready to serve.  This recipe makes a big bowlful, so it's perfect for sharing.

If not using pasta, there will be too much dressing.  You could probably only make half the dressing and it would be enough, or just make it all and spoon on what you need to dress the salad and use the rest as a dip.  If the pasta isn't there to bulk it up, the salad goes well with pitas and crisp lettuce.

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