Thursday, October 13, 2011

Curried Chicken Salad

Nobody could blame you if you thought of chicken salad as boring.  Quite frankly, it often is.  But bring in a bit of Eastern influence, and chicken salad can become something else, something very not-boring.  Something fresh, something exciting, something that activates your taste buds.  This curried chicken salad brings together a variety of flavors and textures – crunchy and sweet apples, spicy red onions, buttery chunks of melt-in-your mouth chicken, and a cacophony of peppery, earthy, fiery, savory, sweet seasonings.

2 pounds boneless chicken breast
cayenne pepper
garlic powder
2 celery ribs, chopped
1/2 granny smith apple, diced
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 scallions
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon spice mix, recipe below

Spice Mix:
1 ½  teaspoons coriander, crushed
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon ancho chile powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon mustard powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Mix all the spices together in a bowl.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.   Cover each piece of chicken with a pat of butter and sprinkle a bit of turmeric, cayenne, garlic powder, paprika, and cumin on each.  Bake for about 40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.  Turn the pieces over about half way through baking so both sides can get browned.  When cooked, let the chicken cool then shred or cut into chunks.  In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, apple pieces, red onion, and scallions.  In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and spice mix.  Add the mayonnaise mixture to the ingredients in the large bowl and mix together.  Refrigerate.

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