Thursday, July 8, 2010

Calypso Chicken Salad

Do you like chicken salad?  A good chicken salad is creamy, a bit sweet, a bit salty, has some crunch in it and must have really tender chicken.  One of my favorite chicken salads was served at a place I used to work and it was mayonnaise based with cashews.  Yum - it brings back fond food memories.  The reason I am sharing this recipe with you is because this chicken salad has all those components and more.  The pineapple and grapes add sweetness, the green pepper and almonds add crunch and the curry powder gives it all a nice flavorful twist.  Not to mention that it came from a dear friend of mine.

My friend Judy gave me this recipe.  Judy is a mother, grandmother, golfer, volunteer, friend to many and from what I hear a very successful retired executive administrator.  She is what I call a whipper snapper in that she says what she thinks and doesn't appear to be afraid of anything or anyone.  She has more energy than I do and can definitely beat me at golf.  I feel blessed to have her in my life and I know first hand that she is a wonderful cook.  She made my husband and I the best Eggs Benedict that I have ever had one morning at her beach house.  I hope this Calypso Chicken Salad is one of many recipes that she shares with us.  Thanks Judy!

This is a great salad for a party - showers, luncheons or just as a lunch for yourself.  There are many ways you can serve this too - as a sandwich, on lettuce, or even on crackers.  A lovely side or garnish would be some watermelon or strawberries.  

Calypso Chicken Salad

1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon minced onion, dried or fresh
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
1 lb chicken, about 2-3 cups cooked and cubed chicken breast
1 cup green grapes
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1 8-oz can pineapple chunks, drained
1 small jar chopped pimentos, drained (optional)
1 cup slivered almonds (I didn't have slivered on hand so used sliced)

Combine the first six ingredients (the dressing) in a bowl.  Add chicken, grapes, pepper, pineapple and pimentos.  Mix and then cover to chill overnight.  When ready to serve, mix in 1/2 cup of almonds and sprinkle remaining on top.  I sprinkled a bit of parsley on top as well.  Serves 6.
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Roasted Chicken Breasts (if you feel like roasting your own)

3 bone-in, skin on chicken breasts
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place chicken breasts skin side up on a baking sheet.  Rub with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast for 40-50 minutes or until cooked through.  Internal temperature should be 165 degrees.  Let cool and then remove meat from the bones.  Slice or shred the chicken into bite size cubes.  Make about 4 cups.  

Roasted Chicken Adapted from Ina Garten
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