Chicken salad can be boring. It’s plagued by dry chicken and flavorless dressing. It’s not something I would typically want to make at home. Recently, though, I had a fantastic chicken salad sandwich at my favorite coffee shop in Williamsburg. It was curried chicken salad on fruit and nut bread, and I knew I had to recreate it at home. I only made the salad part this time around, but I’m looking for a fruit and nut bread recipe so I can make the full version next time around.
This chicken salad is a far cry from the plain, mayonnaise-laden versions of my past. It’s made mostly with yogurt, which gives it a much lighter texture. I used nonfat yogurt this time around because it’s what I had on hand, but I know this would be fantastic with Greek yogurt too. This chicken salad is amped up with curry and a bit of cayenne. There’s added texture from the grapes, and you could even add nuts if you wanted. I roasted my chicken, but you could cook it in chicken broth or even use a rotisserie chicken. The great thing about this recipe (besides the fact that it tastes delicious) is that it’s highly adaptable. You can increase or decrease the amount of curry and cayenne to suit your tastes. Don’t like grapes? Try adding a handful of dried fruit (I think apricots would be great) instead. I ate this as a salad over a bed of arugula and on crackers, and I enjoyed it both ways. Think of this recipe more as a jumping off point, and you can create your own chicken salad masterpiece.
3-4 tablespoons mayonnaise
3-4 tablespoons plain or Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon curry powder
Large pinch cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups cooked, chopped chicken
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 cup red grapes, halved
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro or parsley
In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, curry powder, salt and pepper. Add the chicken, celery, grapes and scallions and toss to coat evenly with the yogurt mixture. Stir in the cilantro. Serve with crackers and/or your favorite greens. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.