Saturday, July 28, 2012

I love the Olympics! And Chicken Salad.

The Olympics are finally here again! As the title of this post suggests, I am a tad partial to this glorious event. Always have been. I have been watching them religiously since I was a kid (I have to admit, I don't remember much of Seoul, though I do remember Barcelona), and I am lucky enough to say that I attended events in Sydney (2000), Salt Lake City (2002), Athens (2004), and Vancouver (2010).

Here's me and my Dad at a toga party in Athens for the opening ceremony. Apparently his hotel room had floral sheets. And apparently I was going for the ancient credentials-around-the-neck look.

And here is one of me, my Mom, my brother, and my future sister-in-law in Vancouver a couple years ago...

I could rave about my Olympic experiences for hours (and sometimes I do). Not gonna lie, Olympic montages make me well up on occasion more often than not. Aaaaannnnd, speaking of the Olympics, how 'bout chicken salad, it's great, huh?

(How's that for a segue? Totally makes sense...The Olympics are awesome, so is chicken salad. No? Fine. But speaking of chicken salad...see? Now it makes sense.)

This chicken salad is super easy. My sister and I first made it a few weeks back to stick in the fridge as a snack for the next few days. It was not meant to be. We finished it off within the hour. Licked our plates and everything. That said though, if you don't like curry, I'm sorry to say that you won't like this chicken salad. To be fair, I'll do a non-curry one at some point for those peeps.
Try it in a lettuce wrap, on a croissant, or just straight out of the bowl.

This recipe is super easy to make (I use rotisserie chickens and save the rest of the meat for snack-time, salads, sandwiches, etc. If you want to roast your own, knock yourself out.), and so yummy. We adapted it from Ina's Curried Chicken Salad.

Curry Chicken Salad

Serves 2. Just kidding. Not sure how many it serves actually. Ina says 6. The first time we made it, we (my sister and I) ate the lot by ourselves. The second time I made it, I estimated amounts and roughly doubled it. It served about 20 as a side. So go figure. Serves 2-10ish.


2 rotisserie chickens (or 3-4 roast chicken breasts)
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise (I recommend using real mayo, because it's delish)
1/2 cup dry white wine 
3 tablespoons curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup diced celery
1/4-1/3 (to taste) cup diced scallions (white and green parts)
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup roasted, salted cashews (whole vs. halves and pieces is totally your call. I use the halves and pieces, mostly because I think it's scandalous that they can charge you three times as much for the whole ones)


Mmmm, chicken.
Separate the chicken breasts, and cut into bite-sized pieces. You can use three or four here, depending on their size. Set aside the chicken.
Mmmm, chopped-into-bite-sized-pieces chicken.
Do as you will with the rest of the meat on the chicken. I always take apart the whole chicken at this point, since I'm doing it anyway. I leave the meat in a container in the fridge and throw it on salads or make quesadillas or chicken pie throughout the week. 

A little for the chicken salad, a little for the chef.
In a large bowl, whisk together the mayo, wine, curry powder, and salt (until smooth). Add the chicken, celery, scallions, and raisins and mix well. If it seems too saucy, why not add more chicken? You've got it in the fridge anyway. 

All together now in the bowl, to be whisked into smoothness... that.
And now with the rest of the cast of characters. Get to know each other, y'all.
Little FYI for the celery: If the stalks are wide, I will usually slice them part-way up longways. Then chop the normal way, and the thick parts will be nice neat little pieces that match the ones from the thin end. Doesn't make sense? See these pictures here...

Above, we have a nice little slice along each of the thicker stalks...

...resulting in (relatively) uniform pieces of celery.

Chill for a couple hours to let the flavors get all friendly in the bowl. Or, if you want to be like me and my sister, eat a bowl and a half and put the rest in the fridge for later. Like 20 minutes later.

Add the cashews just before serving.

And once more with the cashews. 
We made this for the second time as a side at my brother's engagement party. It was good the second time too. I guess the first time wasn't just lucky. 


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