March 23rd, 2009

curried chicken salad

curried chicken salad

as much as i’d love for it to be true, i don’t get to just sit around eating cupcakes and pies all day. despite the name of the site, i also cook regular old meals – meals that aren’t slathered in frosting, and some even without *gasp* bacon. so to give you all a better idea of what i eat for dinner on a typical night, i’m excited to share some of my favorite non-dessert meals!

curried chicken salad

i actually started making this chicken salad after i tackled the mighty bastilla – and came out victorious. whole foods is a little above my means, but one of my favorite things to grab for lunch there is a container of the curried chicken salad. after i cooked the chicken for the bastilla, the flavors were so similar to the chicken salad from the store that i decided that i could make it for myself from now on to save a bit of money.

curried chicken salad

the flavors are, in a word, perfect. the combination of spicy and sweet will make you smile, and the peppers and grapes keep the chicken salad (which is too often dry) moist and refreshing. it’s such an easy and flavorful dish, there’s really no excuse to make up a big ‘ole batch for your friends, or better yet, to bring along for a picnic as the days (thank god) get warmer. and for anyone still craving something sweet, don’t worry, i’ve got some treats coming up this week. stay tuned! i’m not through with sugar and bacon (and combination thereof) yet!

curried chicken salad

curried chicken salad
great as a side or main dish. tell your friends!

1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken (i used thighs)
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper
1 orange pepper
1/3 cup chopped blanched pistachios
1 cup halved grapes
1/3 cup mayonnaise

1. pour the stock into a large pot and put on medium heat while you prepare the chicken. using your hands, spread the turmeric, chili powder, cumin, cilantro and salt and pepper all over the chicken like you’re putting a dry rub on a steak.

2. place the chicken in the stock and add the cinnamon. the stock should just cover the chicken. if you need more, pour a bit more in. add the onion to the pot and bring the stock to a boil for about 30 minutes.

3. when the chicken has cooked, remove it from the pot and place on a plate to cool (make sure to discard the cinnamon sticks). meanwhile, slice the peppers into strips and halve the grapes. set aside.

4. once the chicken has cooled, shred (either in a food processor or with a fork. in a large bowl, mix together the chicken, pistachios, peppers and grapes. add the mayonnaise and mix with a large spoon (or your hands if you’d like). if you like your chicken salad a little more moist, add more mayo. chill for half and hour before serving.

16 Comments for curried chicken salad - why not leave some love?

  1. Lauren says:

    Looks delish Pete! Did you blanch the pistachios yourself? I get stressed about the timing of blanching nuts – any words of wisdom to offer?

    • petebakes says:

      i’ll confess, i’ve never blanched them myself. i bought a big package of pistachios ready to go. they ended up being much more expensive than i realized since they were pre-prepared, so i’ve been trying to make the most of them. however, if you’re blanching your own, it only takes about a minute – drop the pistachios into boiling water, remove from heat, and let them sit for a minute. then drain and rub the pistachios with a kitchen towel. dry on a baking sheet in the oven at 300F for 10-15 minutes. have fun!

  2. Louise says:

    Pete, your curried chicken salad differs a bit from mine in that I use leftover rotisserie chicken, add diced apple and raisins and add some sour cream to the mayo for moisture and creaminess. I’ll have to try yours next time around.

  3. Melissa says:

    I am definitely going to make this for lunch one day this week, so much better then a pb&j!

  4. flourchild says:

    Can’t wait to try this, Pete. If you ever want to vary it a bit, my recipe is really good, too. You can find it at:

  5. Nick says:

    I’ve been looking for a good curried chicken salad recipe. Looks like my search is over.

    And for the record, I’m not sure if I’m okay with you cooking things other than cupcakes. You’re telling me that you eat things without flour in them?

    Just kidding. Looks awesome.

  6. nick says:

    This looks/sounds great. I usually stick to good ol’ reliable: chicken, hard boiled eggs, mayo, green onions, but maybe I need to spice things up a bit with something exactly like this.

    I highly recommend using homemade mayo for this dish, if you don’t mind eating raw/undercooked eggs, that is. It only takes about 2 minutes to make and is WAY better than store bought. 2 egg yolks, Tbl mustard, garlic (or other flavoring) blend to combine in food processor, stream in oil of choice (not olive) till it emulsifies while running the machine, then never buy pre-made mayo again!

    • petebakes says:

      whoa – never made my own mayo before. i’ve only seen it during the relay race on top chef a few seasons ago, but it sounds like homemade really makes a difference. i’ll have to give it a shot soon!

  7. mary says:

    This is my favorite dish from the whole foods prepared deliciouness case. And, I agree, it’s too expensive.

  8. Corrie says:

    I LOVE Whole Foods’s curried chicken salad! I just might try this recipe over the summer! Thanks for the great post 🙂

  9. Suze says:

    Just “Stumbled” across your blog. Gave it a thumbs up and will be back again for another visit. Read the section about what camera you use and was really encouraged. I’ve been thinking about a food blog, but I just have a point and shoot, too. Your terrific photos are an inspiration.

    • petebakes says:

      thank you! i’d love to eventually invest in a nicer camera, but the point and shoot does the job for me right now. i hope you dive in and start your own blog soon!

  10. flourchild says:

    Pete, I left a link to my curried chicken salad in a post above. I hope you will try it. It has water chestnuts, chutney, and other ingredients that make it quite different from yours, so a good diversion. I’ve made yours since, and it is really good as well. Nice to have more than one recipe to vary things a bit. Have a good week, Pete!

  11. Shella says:

    OMG! This recipe was sooo good. I did add some mango chutney and I gotta say this taste even better than Whole Foods! Thanks for the awesome recipe. Looking forward to more!

  12. Hey, your internet site isn’t working for me for whatever reason…I am utilizing IE six and receiving almost nothing on this site… ice I

  13. Jina Ferrar says:

    I’m on my 17th day and have lost 12lbs., which is great! However, i lost that weight the first ten days. I am sticking to the diet as Vic suggests, and I went from a size 38 to a loose 36. I could easily stand to lose another 25 lbs., so my question is, am I gaining muscle weight with my exercises? I totally notice a difference in my physique! Thanks!

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