CURRIED CHICKEN AND ROMAINE SALAD

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So what do you do when you have one half of a cooked chicken breast, and one raw chicken breast in your refrigerator? Well you know you can’t serve the raw chicken breast as is, so that means you have to cook it. But then, how are you going to serve the chicken once both pieces are staring at you wondering what’s to become of them? Well – since you are currently on a salad binge, you make up a recipe for chicken salad. Or at least that’s what I did last evening.

While I love a good chicken salad with grapes as one of the ingredients, I didn’t happen to have any in the fridge yesterday. And because I was too lazy to put on my lipstick and drive the arduous 3½ miles to our local grocery store, I decided to explore other avenues for flavor enhancement. That’s when I remembered one of my favorite chicken casserole recipes that features curry powder in the sauce. So I thought, why not add some curry powder to my salad dressing? I didn’t want to add too much so I started out with just ¼ teaspoon. That didn’t taste like quite enough, so I added another eighth of a teaspoon. Perfect! So that’s why I wrote the ingredient amount below as a heaping ¼ teaspoon.

Whenever I serve something to Mr. C. for the first time, I usually preface my remarks about the recipe with “if this new concoction is horrible, we can always go out for pizza”. But last evening, because I had already sampled the salad (adjusting seasoning you see) I didn’t even bother to offer an out. I knew he would love the salad. And I was right!

So if you too are ever faced with what to do with leftover chicken, and the chicken itself is not offering up any inspiration, may I suggest this salad as a quick and easy solution. Because if I do say so myself, it’s just darned delicious.

And although the chicken breasts couldn’t communicate their approval of how they were being served last evening, I’m sure had they been able, they would have been proud to be such an integral part of this new main dish salad. (And yes, I am as guilty of anthropomorphism as the next gal!) After all, I still believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. So how could you expect me not to presume to know what chicken breasts are thinking?  Duh!

  • ½ c. light mayonnaise (I use Best Foods “Light” mayonnaise)
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice (don’t even think about using that bottled “stuff”)
  • pinch seasoned salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • heaping ¼ tsp. curry powder
  • 2 c. chopped, cooked chicken breast meat*
  • 1 lg. stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 green onions, finely minced
  • ½ c. slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1 lg. heart of romaine lettuce, chopped into bite size pieces

Whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, seasoned salt, black pepper, and curry powder. Stir in the chicken, celery, green onions, and toasted almonds until well combined. Add the lettuce and stir until all the lettuce pieces are coated with the dressing. Serve immediately. Serves 2-3.

*If you don’t have any cooked chicken on hand, cut 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast in half lengthwise, sprinkle lightly with seasoned salt and pepper, and fry in a small amount of olive oil just until done. Allow to cool, then cut into bite size pieces.

Please let me know if you like this recipe. Thanks