Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Best thing I ate this week: Curried Chicken Salad

This week it was a craving that got me. The Food Network's Ina Garten was making a delicious looking curried chicken salad; and I'm not sure what it was, but it was all I could do to not run to the store that moment and get all the ingredients. I tried to shake it off, even sleep it off, but the next day I found myself in the store, gathering all the ingredients. Sure enough, it was as good as it looked on TV, and by far, the best thing I ate this week.

What makes it so good is that the chicken is cooked on the bone with the skin on, leaving it beyond moist and tender. The addition of the white wine and generous amounts of curry powder make for a sauce so good you'll be dreaming up other ways to use it all week long. The grand finale, the salty cashews, lend a happy crunch. We enjoyed it for dinner, and then lunch all week long. For now, my craving has been an satiated, but this recipe is a keeper for sure.

Ina Garten's Curried Chicken Salad (as seen on The Food Network)

3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups good mayonnaise (recommended: Hellman's)
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chutney (recommended: Major Grey's)
3 tablespoons curry powder
1 cup medium-diced celery (2 large stalks)
1/4 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts (2 scallions)
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup whole roasted, salted cashews

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub the skin with olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked (Note: I baked mine for 50 minutes to make sure it was fully cooked and the juices ran clear). Set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones, discard the skin, and dice the chicken into large bite-size pieces.

For the dressing, combine the mayonnaise, wine, chutney, curry powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until smooth.

Combine the chicken with enough dressing to moisten well. Add the celery, scallions, and raisins, and mix well. Refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Add the cashews and serve at room temperature.


Sarah Bockel Smith said...

I love curried anything, and cannot tell you how thrilled I am that my kid seems to like it, too. I made Jamie Oliver's lamb curry last night (but substituted lamb with chicken & cauliflower). This is a staple meal at our house. You should try it:

PS - I know make it so frequently that it hardly resembles the original recipe - but still easy & yummy.

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