One of those afternoons when I had the remote controls all to myself, I chanced upon a Barefoot Contessa marathon on the Food Network. I watched three episodes one after the other (who gets tired of Ina Garten, anyway — certainly, not me!) making mental notes of the dishes that I could replicate at home. This curried chicken salad with cashew nuts was one of them.
Strange, you think? After all, isn’t chicken curry essentially a stew? As strange as it may sound, set aside your pre-conceived notions about chicken curry. This one is a winner and a keeper.
Note that my version of the curried chicken salad does not follow Ina Garten’s recipe to the letter. One of the ingredients she mentioned was chutney and she recommended Major Grey’s which, of course, I would never find in the hinterlands. I Googled Major Grey’s, discovered that it is mango-based and I proceeded to make the substitutions that I could. The result was a success.
For the pickled chilis, click here.
For the pureed mangoes, you can use fresh (throw into the blender) or you can use stuff off the grocery shelf. The bottom line — it must be thick and concentrated.
Curried Chicken Salad With Cashew Nuts
- 1 chicken breast cooked (grilled, roasted or steamed) and cooled
- 1 stalk celery cut diagonally into half-inch slices
- 1 red onion roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons pickled chilies
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 2 tablespoons mango puree
- 2 tablespoons chopped cashew nuts
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise (you may need more)
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon sliced scallions plus more to garnish
- whole cashew nuts to garnish
- Separate the chicken meat from the bone. Discard the bone. Cut the meat into one-inch cubes.
- Place the chicken in a mixing bowl.
- Add the rest of the ingredients except the whole cashew nuts.
- Toss until blended.
- Chill for a couple of hours.
- Sprinkle the whole cashew nuts and more scallions before serving.