Give me a chicken and some warm weather (please!) and I'll produce a delectable chicken salad. This one is curried, with a dressing of mayonnaise and yogurt. Cook the curry powder first in a little hot oil and it mellows the spice. The curry is subtle here. You can make it school-bus yellow, if you like, by adding much more. Lots of crunch from celery and cashews, juicy surprises from grapes, bite from red onion. Pass the sunblock.
Curried chicken salad with cashews
6 chicken pieces (breast halves on the bone or whole chicken legs or a combination)
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups cashews
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 cup mayonnaise
6 ounces (3/4 cup) plain non-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, or more to taste
Pepper, to taste
2 stalks celery, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
3 cups seedless red or green grapes
1/2 red onion, cut into thin strips
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 scallions, trimmed and sliced on a diagonal (for garnish)
1. In a soup pot, combine the chicken pieces, water, and salt. Bring to a boil, skim the surface thoroughly, and lower the heat. Cover the pan and simmer the chicken for 30 minutes or until it is cooked through and starting to pull away from the bone. Remove the chicken from the liquid and set aside to cool.
2. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Spread the cashews on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast them for 10 to 12 minutes or until they are brown, watching them carefully near the end of cooking.
3. In a small skillet, heat the canola oil. Stir in the curry powder and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Remove the skillet from the heat.
4. In a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, whisk the mayonnaise and yogurt. Whisk in the vinegar. Add the curry mixture, salt, and pepper. Stir well.
5. Shred the chicken, discarding the skin and bones. Add the chicken to the mayonnaise mixture with the celery, grapes, red onion, and parsley. Stir gently but thoroughly.
6. Garnish the salad with scallions. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour for the flavors to mellow. Sheryl Julian
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ContributorsSheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.
Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.
Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.