I don’t know about you, but it happens to me all the time. I’m standing in the grocery store, I need to get dinner on the table within the next hour, frozen pizza or mac and cheese isn’t going to cut it, and I have no idea what to make. Plus, it’s 80 degrees outside and I don’t want to turn on the oven. If you have ever found yourself in this predicament, I have the recipe for you. Wander over to the deli area, and grab yourself a rotisserie chicken. Typically, I steer clear of these sad little chickens, but for this quick recipe I’ve actually found a purpose for them.
This chicken salad will never let you down. It’s got great flavor- sweet, savory, zippy; but it has even better texture- creamy, tender, and crunchy. Plus, it’s honestly the easiest recipe. So easy in fact, I’m going to make it on my back deck. The kids are outside playing, it’s gorgeous out and I don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen.
Let’s start with the rotisserie chicken. I could diagram the correct way to break down and carve a chicken, but I promised a 20-minute recipe so just dive in. Peel off the soggy skin and pitch it, pull off as much of the meat you can from the carcass, being careful to watch for bones and chop into bite-size pieces.
Now chop the celery into little pieces. When buying celery, I prefer celery hearts, they are sweeter, more tender than Pascal and typically don’t have the tough celery strings. For this recipe, pick the most tender pieces from the inside of the bunch. Also, make sure you use the celery leaves, don’t throw them away. Trust me on this, chop them up and add them in, they have great flavor.
For the grapes, I have a super quick way to mow through them. We are in a time crunch, remember? Pick a handful of grapes, all approximately the same size. Place them in a tight circle on your cutting board or a flat surface. Holding you palm against the tops of the grapes with your fingers held out straight, position your knife at the middle of the grapes, and slice through the grapes while pressing down and applying pressure to the grapes. Voila!
Finish with a small chop on the cashews and red onion.
Now, let’s move on to the sauce. We are just using 5 powerful ingredients. Mayonaisse for the base, and I’m not talking Miracle Whip, that’s not Mayo, I repeat… NOT MAYO! Next, let’s discuss the Curry powder, I prefer Madras Curry Powder, not all spices are equal. Sure you could use McCormick, but I like to spend a little more when I’m buying spices. Madras is more robust and a bit spicier than your typical run of the mill stuff. Most people aren’t aware, but Curry isn’t a single spice, it’s a blend. Typically its made of coriander, turmeric, fenugreek, mustard, and red chile powder in varying concentrations. Because of this, it can make a difference which brand you’re buying. In the sauce, I am also using dijon mustard, mustard seed, and white balsamic vinegar. White balsamic vinegar is made with the same ingredients as dark balsamic, but dark balsamic is aged for at least 12 years in fired, old wood barrels that previously held older batches of balsamic, while white balsamic is aged for at least 12 years in new wooden barrels.
Combine the sauce with the chopped ingredients and serve on your choice of bread or in a lettuce cup. I prefer croissant.
- 1 Rotisserie Chicken, picked and diced
- 1 Cup Celery Hearts and Leaves, diced
- 1 1/2 Cups Grapes, sliced in half
- 1/3 Cup Red Onion, diced
- 1/3 Cup Roasted Cashews, chopped
- 4 Croissants, sliced in half
- 1 Cup Mayonnaise
- 3 Teaspoons Curry Power
- 2 Teaspoons White Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 Teaspoon Mustard Seed
- Pick and dice the meat off of 1 rotisserie chicken.
- Dice celery stems and leaves, red onion and roasted cashews.
- Halve grapes.
- In a small bowl, whisk to combine the mayonnaise, curry powder, white balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard and mustard seed.
- In a large bowl combine the chopped ingredients and the curry sauce. Place salad on croissants, your choice of bread or serve on lettuce.