Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Secret Ingredient

Chicken salad has never really been my thing, but Charlie loves it.  So, I've been making a point to make it for him.   I usually make a very traditional version with pickles, eggs, onion, mayo, and mustard, but last week I thought I'd try a curried chicken salad.  (It seems that I'm on a real curry kick right now.  Maybe it's the weather?)  I pulled out a recipe from an old magazine and checked the fridge.  I had most of the ingredients so I decided to go ahead and cook it, making some omissions and substitutions.  Here is the recipe with my modifications.

Curried Chicken Salad

1 whole chicken
6 Tablespoons vanilla yogurt
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons thinly sliced scallions
1 Tablespoon coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
1 small Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
freshly ground pepper

Put the chicken in a medium stock pot and add enough water to cover the chicken.  Bring the water to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.  Remove the chicken from the pot and let cool.  (Save your stock for something else!)  When the chicken is cool enough to handle shred it into bite-sized pieces.
Stir together the yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, curry powder, scallions, cilantro, apple and salt.  Season with pepper.  Add the chicken and stir to fully coat.  

Did you spot the secret ingredient?  It's the vanilla yogurt.  The original recipe called for plain Greek yogurt, which would be very good I'm sure, but I didn't have that in my refrigerator.  I did have vanilla yogurt on hand so I substituted that and ended up with a lovely and unexpected flavor.  I think it's great, and I'm going to make it that way from now on!

It's not the most beautiful thing I've ever made, but here's a photo anyway.


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