Although this recipe is from Ina Garten, it is one we used to enjoy in the 80's and one I have been looking for since forever! I don't know if it is exactly the same, but I remember the original had chutney as an ingredient as well as raisins. A definite favorite of the Ladies Who Lunch!
I adore curry in chicken salad and everything else but unfortunately my daughter doesn't, so I have to be careful to serve it when she is away. The problem started at the office, an Internet advertising group, where the back office is made up mostly of Indian techies who heat up their lunch in the same microwave as everyone else. Thus, macaroni and cheese, pizzas and anything else that is heated have a strong flavor of curry, cumin and the like. I've told them to get another microwave but to no avail. Thus, curry and Indian food have been banned from this house, at least until she gets another job or they get another group of techies, both highly unlikely.
If I have chicken salad planned for a lunch, what I usually do is make a big roasted chicken the night before. Anything to cut back on extra work and a great use of leftovers.
Yield: 6 servings
•3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
•Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
•1 1/2 cups good mayonnaise (recommended: Hellman's)
•1/3 cup dry white wine
•1/4 cup chutney (recommended: Major Grey's)
•3 tablespoons curry powder
•1 cup medium-diced celery (2 large stalks)
•1/4 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts (2 scallions)
•1/4 cup raisins
•1 cup whole roasted, salted cashews*
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub the skin with olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones, discard the skin, and dice the chicken into large bite-size pieces.
For the dressing, combine the mayonnaise, wine, chutney, curry powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until smooth. ( I don't use a food processor, but mix by hand)
Combine the chicken with enough dressing to moisten well. Add the celery, scallions, and raisins, and mix well. Refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Add the cashews and serve at room temperature.
*I think the original recipe had slivered almonds, a good substitution.
Photo: Food Newtwork