Saturday, June 23, 2007

Summer Chicken Salad

The mission: light but elegant entree for a summer evening baby shower

Solution: this.
("Mom, why are you always taking pictures of my food?" asks The Child).

It is a pretty salad, a very refreshing salad, and a salad that is full of gorgeous flavors that stand distinct and yet work together beautifully.

I was very pleased with the outcome of this salad. It was a cobbling together of a couple different salads I've tried before. This little fusion worked particularly well and best of all, it didn't give the mother-to-be (or anyone else, for that matter) heartburn. It uses a smidge of curry, just to get the flavor but not the heat. This worked particularly well for the couple of guests who are not fans of curry. If you have no such issue at your table you could increase the amount of curry, but frankly, I wouldn't do it by much. It's more the essence of curry you're going for here, so that the other flavors are allowed to play nicely but stand on their own.

Lorraine's Chicken (Curry) Salad

5 poached chicken breasts, cooled
(Yes, of course, substitute left-over chicken if you have it)
1 head romaine lettuce
4 sugar mangos (or 2 regular)
1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro
2 red chilies
1 bunch scallions

1 c. plain yogurt
2 T. mango chutney (such as Major Grey's)
1 t. curry powder
1-2 T. rice wine vinegar
olive oil

Dice the chicken in largish chunks and place in large bowl. As you prepare each of the ingredients, add them in with the chicken.

Cut the lettuce into a chiffonade.

Slice the mangos lengthwise, on either side of the pit. Make cross-hatch cuts in the fruit and scoop out the flesh into the salad.

Cut chilies in half, seed and finely dice.

Rough chop the cilantro.

Thinly slice the scallions, using the white and green parts.

When everything is in the salad bowl, gently toss with your hands until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.

For the dressing: place all the ingredients but the olive oil in a blender and whiz for a couple minutes until everything is well combined. You can try taking the little top off the blender lid, running the blender on low and slowly pouring in a stream of olive oil but as that method results in my having to change clothes right before the party, the better bet might be pouring the dressing into a bowl and slowly whisking in olive oil, just until dressing begins to emulsify. This is supposed to be a thin dressing so you'll only use a few Tablespoons of oil. Taste and adjust seasonings. You might want to add a little salt.

Pour dressing over salad and toss again. May keep chilled for a couple hours before serving.


Seattle Coffee Girl said...

It was a little bit of heaven on a dinner plate, LT. I'm so sad there isn't a picture to go with this, because your presentation in the W-S rooster serving bowl was incredible.

This was light yet nourishing, and the flavors did a nice dance on my tongue. And yeah! No heartburn! :)

Loved this dish, and loved you for making it!

And I can't remember...did you all drink the late-harvest Riesling with this, or the Gewrutz? I had the sparkling pink lemonade, which was superfantastic with this. YUMMY!

Lorraine said...

So glad you liked it, SCG. And that Buffy liked it, too! And I think some of the girls were drinking the sweetie wines. Myself, I was sticking to the Merlot.

Red7Eric said...

Yum. And yes, we definitely need a photo.

Lorraine said...

Have no fear, Red. I'm going to make it later in the week for the fam. I'll snag a photo then.

Jon said...

My GOD, that sounds good. It has everything I adore. I may cancel your return flight to Seattle.