I was definitely slow to get on the curry train. In fact, I distinctly remember not linking curry spices. Luckily, people grow and change as they experience life and I eventually came around (thanks to experiences like quick curried chickpeas!).
Out of all of the recipes I’ve made with curry spices, this might just be my favorite. Something about the curry with the creamy mayo/yogurt dressing is just perfect! Not to mention the subtle sweetness of the raisins to balance it all out… Mmmm.
Chicken salad is never really “cheap”, but when you get your chicken on sale (as I did here for $1.99/lb) it approaches affordable. And then when you consider the fact that you can sometimes pay $10/lb. for pre-made chicken salad at the deli, this is actually quite a steal. So, even if you have to save this for a special occasion, bookmark this recipe because you won’t be sorry you did!
Curry Chicken Salad
- 2 medium
- (1½ lbs) chicken breast halves $2.99
- a pinch salt & pepper $0.05
- ½ tsp ground ginger (optional) $0.03
- 2 stalks celery $0.32
- 2-3 whole green onions $0.19
- ½ cup sliced almonds $0.72
- ½ cup raisins $0.68
- ¼ cup mayonnaise $0.33
- ¼ cup plain yogurt $0.14
- 1 tsp lemon juice $0.02
- 1 tsp curry powder $0.10
- ¼ tsp salt $0.02
- 10 cranks fresh cracked pepper $0.02
- Season both sides of the chicken breasts with a light sprinkle of salt, pepper, and ground ginger. Cook the chicken breast in either a countertop grill or in a skillet until cooked through. Refrigerate the cooked chicken breast while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- Slice the green onions and cut the celery stalks into small pieces. Place the green onion, celery, sliced almonds, and raisins in a large bowl.
- Make the dressing by stirring together the mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, curry powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Taste the mixture to see if you prefer more salt or curry powder.
- The chicken should be mostly cooled by this point. Cut the chicken into small cubes and place it in the bowl with the celery, onion, almonds, and raisins. Stir to combine. Pour the dressing over top and stir to coat (start with half of the dressing and add more as desired).
Eat plain, with crackers, or stuffed into a pita!
Step By Step Photos
Start by sprinkling the chicken breast with a pinch of salt, pepper, and ground ginger (you can skip the ginger if you don’t have any).
The fastest/easiest way to cook chicken for chicken salad is to just pop it into a countertop grill like a George Foreman. If you don’t have one (you should get one), you can cook it in a skillet. After it’s done cooking (about 7 minutes per breast on the George Foreman), put it in the refrigerator to cool down.
While the chicken is cooling, you can prepare the rest of the salad. I used just a couple of green onions and two stalks of celery. Don’t let the rest of your celelry go to waste. Either cut it into sticks for snacks or slice it up and freeze it to use in a soup later. You can also slice and freeze the rest of the green onions. Both the celery and green onion should only be used for cooked dishes after freezing because of the texture changes that occur.
For this salad you’ll want the celery in very small pieces. First wash and cut the ends off of the stalk. Then, cut it into workable 6-inch sections. Next, slice it lengthwise into thin strips and finally, cut across the strips to yield small pieces. The green onion can just be sliced thinly.
I added sliced almonds for crunch and raisins for sweetness. I bought both from the bulk bins so that I would have extras left over. It might cost less to buy a container of each, but if you don’t use them often enough, the leftovers might go to waste, which will mean that extra money is down the drain. So, you have to decide which will be the best value for you.
Place the sliced green onion, chopped celery, almonds, and raisins in bowl.
Now make the dressing. In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, curry powder, salt, and pepper.
Stir it all together and give it a taste to see if you prefer more salt or curry powder. The dressing should taste slightly strong so that when it’s spread out over the salad it doesn’t loose its “oomph.”
The chicken has probably cooled significantly by now, so cut it into small cubes.
Stir the chopped chicken in with the other ingredients in the bowl (celery, onion, almonds, and raisins). Pour the dressing over top and stir to combine. Start with just half of the dressing and add more as desired. I ended up using all of the dressing. It seemed like a lot at first but it kind of soaks in as the salad refrigerates.
And then it’s ready to eat! I ate a bunch just by itself with a fork, but it would also be good with crackers or stuffed into a pita.