Thursday, December 6, 2012

Curry Up, Santa!

I've been making a sassy version of curry chicken spread for so many years that I no longer remember where the original recipe came from. I tuck the spread into miniature cream puffs and add a little Srirachan-heat when the mood hits me. (My sister uses the same recipe. She calls it "My chicken curry sandwiches," and I am pretty sure she no longer remembers that her original recipe came from me!)

In Called to the Table this week, I recall childhood holiday anticipation and that annual visit from Santa. In Gaylord we headed to City Hall on a Saturday in December and had an opportunity to chat with the Big Guy. Each kid received a sack of treats and one shiny Red Delicious apple. Those Red Delicious apples provided my first understanding of oxymoron, and inspired a new spin on the old curry chicken spread. Santa's Chicken Salad is a bit sweeter than the original recipe (substitute a sharper apple if you desire) and is great on rye toasts, flat bread, and over cucumber slices or endive leaves.

Santa’s Red and Delicious Chicken Salad
The chicken:

1 tablespoon each olive and sesame oil, plus more if needed
1 pound boneless skinless chicken
2 teaspoons garam masala
Zest of 1 lime
1 thumb-sized fresh ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, grated
1 ½ tablespoons Thai red curry paste
Juice of ½ lime

Heat oil in large sauté pan over medium high heat. Season chicken with garam masala and lime zest. Add chicken to hot oil and cook until internal temperature reached 165 degrees, turning to evenly brown. Remove cooked chicken and set aside. Add more oil to pan if necessary and lower heat to medium. Cook ginger, garlic, and curry paste until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add lime juice. Chop
chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to pan; cook additional 3 to 5 minutes.

The dressing:
2/3 cup mayonnaise
Juice of ½ lime
3 tablespoons prepared chutney (I used apple-cranberry)
1 Red Delicious apple, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
¼ cup red onion, diced
3 green onions, diced
½ cup cashews or peanuts
½ cup cilantro, chopped

Combine all ingredients well. Add chicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with additional cashews and cilantro.

No comments: