Is there anything better than a good chicken salad sandwich on a summer day? Okay, maybe a bowl of lightly salted chilled watermelon, but other than that, you can’t do better than a chicken salad sandwich on a soft dinner roll; add curry to your dressing and toasted pecans to the salad and you will feel strictly uptown and satisfied! I intended to have a photo of this salad ready to serve on soft butter and egg rolls but the café was jumping on Wednesday and the chicken salad flew out the door before there was time for an additional photo op!
This old recipe of mama’s originally used a can of cooked chicken but I changed that years ago and began using either skinless boneless chicken breasts, or, as I did last week, 6-7 large chicken thighs with the skin on for cooking then skin discarded and meat cut from the bone and shredded. That is the only change I would even consider for this delightful flavorful salad.
Prep your vegetables while the chicken simmers in enough water to cover and prepare the dressing and you’ll be all set once the chicken cools enough to shred. Add everything to a large mixing bowl and pour on the dressing, folding gently. Chill at least 4 hours or overnight and you’ll be uptown in no time! Serve on a large dinner roll or bun or lay the salad into a quartered ripe juicy tomato, add crackers, and ohhh-la-la!
4-5 chicken breasts or thighs (around 1-1/2 lbs.)
1/2 lb. seedless green grapes, ends trimmed and each cut lengthwise
1-(12 oz.) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 cup celery, sliced very thin
1-1/2 cups pecans, chopped and toasted
For the dressing
1-1/2 cups Hellman’s mayonnaise
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. shoyu (soy sauce)
1/2 T. curry powder, or less, to taste
Directions Gently boil the chicken until tender. Don’t overcook the chicken as it will turn hard and rubbery. Drain well, cool, then chop or shred into small pieces. It is fine for the chicken to shred small; it doesn’t need mincing as then it wouldn’t absorb the dressing as readily. In large bowl, combine chicken, grapes, water chestnuts, celery and pecans.
Prepare the dressing by combining the mayonnaise, lemon juice, shoyu (soy sauce), and curry powder. Use a whisk to thoroughly blend, tasting as you go and adjusting to your taste. Spoon the dressing over the salad ingredients, folding gently but thoroughly to coat well. Chill covered for several hours, or overnight, allowing the flavors to mingle.