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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!

i actually started making this chicken salad after i tackled the mighty bastilla [1]– 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.

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
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.