A tender and creamy curried chicken salad is a quick and simple summer dish.In summertime, my mom was always filling the fridge with special lunches and snacks. I would come in the house from playing outdoors or swimming and she would be poaching chicken on the stove. Oh, I loved that smell! It was hard to resist not stealing a bite right from that hot water! She would turn basic chicken into something special so anytime the family or guests had an appetite, there was something to munch on besides ordinary sandwiches.
My mom’s simple Curried Chicken Salad had to be my favorite thing she made with that chicken. I grew up eating this and loved it! When I would bring my young boyfriend-turned-fiancé-turned husband home, he too fell in love with my mom’s Curried Chicken Salad.
In fact, it was a usual request of Bill’s that my mom make it before a visit to her beach house.
The flavors are so exciting yet the ingredients are so simple. Easy to make, easy to enjoy. What is better than that? I should probably poach my chicken just like my mom did, but a modern day grocery store makes it so easy and tempting for me just to buy a rotisserie chicken. So, that’s what I do. They are juicy, flavorful and the perfect serving size for a salad like this.
Tossing together the water chestnuts, the celery and the mandarin oranges gives this salad a variety of texture.And the curry powder, soy sauce and lemon juice make the mayo extraordinary.It’s such a breeze to make, but you’ll have to wait to enjoy it because it needs to chill for several hours. The flavors get better with time, trust me.When Jude had this in the fridge, most of the time you would find Bill standing over the big bowl of it at the counter stealing bites with a fork. I swear if my brothers or I did this, my mom may have scolded us. But not Bill. She spoiled him and let him get away with almost anything. We really loved it on a croissant or potato roll with some lettuce, packed up and enjoyed poolside or on the beach.Today, when I make it, Bill and I wrap it in Bibb lettuce cups for a light summertime treat.It is a scrumptious and satisfying poolside snack…perfect for sharing with friends. The only problem with this dish is, it gets devoured pretty quickly and there are never any leftovers. Guess it’s time to whip up another batch…
Do you have a favorite chicken salad recipe?
*Thank you to my friend, Kristen, for not only sharing my love of cooking and eating good food, but for being the best hand model ever.
- 1 Rotisseri chicken, picked into bite size chunks
- 4 ounce can diced water chestnuts, drained
- 15 ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bibb lettuce for serving, optional
- Combine chicken, water chestnuts, oranges and celery in a bowl.
- Mix all remaining ingredients in another bowl and stir to combine.
- Pour curry mix over the chicken and gently toss to combine.
- Chill for several hours.
Give it an extra sprinkle of curry powder, salt and pepper if you'd like just before serving.
Serve as a sandwich or in bibb lettuce cups. Or grab a fork and steal bites right from the bowl...
Check out this Mexican-style Egg Salad I whipped up a few weeks ago to curb summer lunchtime boredom.