Monday, June 1, 2009

Curried Chicken Salad with Raisins and Honey

The weather in Portland is unseasonably warm right now and although it is only spring, it feels like the middle of summer. The picnics of summer have begun for our family and we are enjoying the extra time outdoors and feeling extra blessed by the sunshine.

Curried Chicken Salad Sandwiches are a perfect picnic food. The ingredients can be mixed together the day before and store great in the refrigerator for several days. Together with some sliced fruit and organic lemonade, you can have a simple, healthy picnic ready in minutes.


5 cups shredded chicken
2 medium celery ribs, cut into small dice
2 medium green onions, green and white parts, minced
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
3/4 - 1 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon
6 tablespoons golden raisins
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 tablespoon honey
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste


1. For 5 cups shredded chicken you need approximately 2 whole chicken breasts. I find it cheapest to roast a whole chicken, use the breasts for this recipe, and then save the remaining legs, wings, and carcass for other recipes. Individual organic chicken breasts are $8.99/pound whereas a whole organic chicken is $2.99/pound.

To roast a chicken, first remove any innards, rinse chicken with cold water, and then pat dry with a paper towel. Place chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet, brush with 1 tablespoon olive oil, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and roast in a 400 degree oven for approximately 1 hour, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 160 degrees.

Remove chicken from oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Cut breasts off carcass and shred meat into bit-sized pieces.

2. Mix celery, green onions, cilantro, lemon juice, raisins, curry powder, and honey together in a medium bowl.

3. Add chicken and then mayonnaise. Start with 3/4 cup or less mayonnaise and mix together. Continue adding mayonnaise until mixture is at desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (This can be covered and refrigerated overnight before serving.)

4. Spread on bread of your choice and serve.

Recipe from Cook's Illustrated

Serves 6. Each serving contains: Calories 336; Total Fat 13.5g; Saturated Fat 2.5g; Cholesterol 97mg; Sodium 297mg; Total Carbohydrates 18.7g; Dietary Fiber 1.0g; Sugars 10.7g; Protein 34.7g; Vitamin A 5%; Vitamin C 7%; Calcium 4%; Iron 9%

If your picky eater is anything like my mine, you are reading this recipe and thinking to yourself that there would be no way he/she would eat a curried chicken salad sandwich. Don't worry if your picky eater is not to that place yet. My son isn't. I wouldn't even ask him to eat a curried chicken salad sandwich right now. I will ask him to eat it once he is individually eating all of the foods in the salad.

Right now, I set aside some of the individual ingredients during the cooking process and serve those to him. Rather than fixing something else for your picky eater, consider giving him/her the same ingredients as the rest of the family.

For this meal, my picky eater ate shredded chicken, celery pieces, raisins, bread, and cilantro. I mixed the cilantro and the chicken together and made him 1/4 of a sandwich with the a small portion of the chicken-cilantro mix. The remaining bread and chicken-cilantro mix he ate individually. Celery is a food that continues to be difficult for him and I will allow a dipping sauce for that. His dipping sauce of choice is organic peanut butter; actually it is his only dipping sauce, if you can actually call it a "sauce". Allow your picky eater any choice "sauce" that will help in consuming foods.

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