I love the flavor of curry. It is such a warming spice that I find myself cooking a lot with it in the fall and winter.
Well this chicken salad is full of warmth and spice. Plump juicy chicken, sweet apple chunks, crispy cucumbers, tangy red onion and chewy golden raisins are strewn with ginger, cilantro and mint and covered in a delicious dressing of yogurt, curry, honey, ginger and lime! Pile it on a serving dish surrounded with pieces of warm flatbread and dig in!
I love putting apples in my salad. I don’t know what it is this year, but I find myself favoring Envy apples. They are so sweet and crunchy. But your favorite apple is what you should use!
I often make a batch of chicken on the weekend, to have in my salads all week long. My local markets don’t seem to carry bone in, skin on chicken breasts. So here’s my foolproof way of making tender, juicy chicken using boneless breasts. Pat the chicken dry and season it as you desire. Then simply place the seasoned chicken breasts in a buttered baking dish. Butter one side of a piece of parchment paper and place that side on top of the chicken. Tuck it in and bake in a 400 degree F oven for about 35 minutes. The chicken is so moist and delicious and ready for your salads!
I love Penzey’s spices. I could stay in that store for hours. And that’s where I got the curry for this recipe. I’ve used these also in my Curried Zucchini Soup with Coconut Cream, Spicy Mulligatawny with Sweet Potatoes, and Curried Cabbage with Cashews & Golden Raisins. Here, I used the sweet curry powder. But use your favorite curry powder to control the heat and the sweet.
The spicy curry dressing is rather light. A blend of mayo and yogurt combines with curry powder, lime juice, ginger paste, honey and cracked black pepper. Here again, you can control the heat and sweet.
I love serving this salad piled high on a serving dish with warm pieces of Naan tucked all around.
This salad is terrific, whether you serve it at room temperature or chilled. Lots of great texture and flavors. Chewy, crunchy, spicy and sweet!
As with most salads, this chicken and apple salad is pretty versatile. Here’s how to MAKE IT YOUR OWN:
- Swap out pork for the chicken. Or leave the chicken out if you want a vegetarian version. I’m not a fan of tofu, but I bet it would be great here, too.
- Use a couple of different types of apples to control the sweet, tart or tanginess of the salad. Pears would be fantastic as well.
- Not a fan of curry? Change the direction of the salad by adding chili spice or Ras al Hanout. Ranch dressing would take this in a totally different direction altogether!
- I loved the warm pieces of thick, chewy Naan. But any flatbread would work. You can even serve this in pita pockets or roll it up in your favorite wrap.
- Replace the golden raisins with your favorite dried fruit. Dates, apricots or dried cranberries or cherries sound good to me!
- There’s plenty of crunch to this salad. But feel free to add more by adding some chopped nuts. Cashews would be perfect!
- 4 cups of chopped chicken breasts
- 2 cups of chopped apples
- 1 cup of chopped cucumbers
- ½ cup of golden raisins
- 3 Tablespoons of minced red onion
- 3 Tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 Tablespoon of chopped fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon of partially dried ginger (I used Gourmet Garden)
- ½ cup of mayonnaise
- ½ cup of plain, Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup of freshly squeezed lime juice
- 4 teaspoons of curry powder
- 2 teaspoons of ginger paste (I used Gourmet Garden)
- 2 teaspoons of honey
- salt & pepper to taste
- Naan or your favorite flatbread (for 6-8 servings)
- Mix the mayonnaise, yogurt, lime juice, curry powder, honey and ginger paste in a bowl until smooth.
- Taste and season with salt & freshly cracked pepper to your liking.
- Toss the chicken, apples, cucumbers, onion, raisins, partially dried ginger and herbs in a large bowl.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat completely.
- Place the salad in the middle of a large serving dish, garnish with more chopped cilantro and place pieces of warm flatbread all around.
- Serve with lime wedges if desired.
All of my salads and dressings are just a starting place for your imagination. So feel free to add or swap ingredients and do what works for you!