Curry and crunch gussy up basic chicken salad

Gretchen McKay
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Light but still satisfying, chicken salad is the ultimate girls’ lunch menu item. But it also can be dressed up with fruits and spices to create a quick and easy weeknight meal.

It’s easier still if you use a grocery store rotisserie chicken, which somehow always seems juicier than the birds I roast at home and takes just a few minutes to pick and chop into bite-sized pieces.

I like to use a mix of mayonnaise and plain Greek yogurt for the dressing, and always stir in a teaspoon or two of curry powder to add pizzazz.

This recipe also includes raisins that have been softened in a little hot water, chopped Granny Smith apple and the peppery bite of scallions. Toasted sliced almonds are a must, both for the added crunch and nutty flavor.

If you feel like adding chopped dried apricot, fresh grapes, dried cherries or other dried fruits, go right ahead.

I serve the chicken salad on fresh baby salad greens, but it also can be scooped on top of a thick piece of crusty bread for an open-faced sandwich, or stuffed into a roll or between two slices of bread.

The salad keeps in the fridge for up to three days, which means if there’s leftovers, you can spoon it onto crackers to enjoy as a midmorning snack. At least I did, and it made the workday that much tastier.

Curried chicken salad gets its crunch from toasted almonds and diced apples.

Crunchy Curried Chicken Salad

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder, or more to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 11/2 heaping cups cubed or shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
  • 1/2 large green apple, such as Granny Smith, diced
  • 1/3 cup raisins, soaked in hot water to soften
  • 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • Handful of fresh, leafy lettuce
  • 4 thick slices crusty bread for an open-face sandwich, or
  • 8 slices for a regular sandwich

In a medium bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, yogurt and curry powder. Then add a generous pinch of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Add cooked chicken, scallions and apple and stir until well combined. (If the salad isn’t creamy enough, add a little more mayo or yogurt.) Fold in raisins and toastedalmonds. Stir to combine well.

Serve chicken salad tucked between two slices of bread as a sandwich or spooned on top of fresh mixed greens as a salad.

Serves 4.

— Gretchen McKay