Chicken curry salad is one of my favorite salads to make because it's so easy to put together.
When I was in college, a friend of mine gave me a box of assorted curry powder blends. I think I went through the whole box making this salad over the years since.
It has cubed chicken, apples and raisins for sweetness, green onions and cilantro because for this kind of salad you always want a little green.
Cook the Spices to Get the Full Curry Flavor
The important thing to remember when cooking with curry spices is to "cook" the spices, or in this case the curry powder, first, in a little olive oil before stirring it in with the rest of the ingredients.
The heat brings out the full flavor of the curry.
This salad is easy to make ahead, the added time just allows the flavors to blend.
Chicken Curry Salad
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 pound skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 2 heaping tablespoons yellow curry powder
- 1 cup raisins (soak in water while you prep)
- 1 apple (tart or sweet, your preference), peeled, cored, and diced
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (just lightly packed)
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise optional
Sauté cubed chicken breast:
Heat olive oil on medium/medium-high heat in a thick-bottomed sauté pan. Add chicken breast cubes and cook, stirring frequently until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle some salt on the chicken pieces while cooking.
Check doneness by removing the thickest piece and cutting it in half. If it is still pink in the middle, keep cooking. Try not to overcook the chicken or it will be dry.
Remove chicken pieces with a slotted spoon, set aside in a bowl.
Sauté onion, curry, raisins:
Add chopped yellow onion and cook. After a few minutes, when the onions are beginning to get translucent, add 2 heaping tablespoons of yellow curry powder. Cook a few minutes more, stirring frequently.
If the curry sticks to the bottom or the mixture gets dry, add a bit more olive oil to the pan. As you stir, scrape up the stuck curry bits.
Add drained raisins, and cook, stirring another minute. (If adding optional mayonnaise, remove curry from heat and mix in mayo.)
Add raisin onion mixture to chicken:
Add raisin and onion mixture to chicken and mix well, coating the chicken pieces with the curry infused olive oil. Refrigerate until cool. At this point you can make the salad a day a head of time.
Mix in apple, green onions, cilantro to serve:
When you are ready to serve the salad, mix in the apple, green onions, and cilantro.