Curried Chicken Salad

Last night was veggie pickup, which meant at least 30 minutes in the kitchen getting everything cleaned and ready for the week. Last night’s vegetables included celery, two striped squash things, two bell/wax pepper hybrid things, a bundle of leeks, a giant clove of garlic, and bagged salad mix. Thankfully, this stuff was pretty easy to clean up, unlike the dirty, excuse me, Earth-covered, potatoes. I make this distinction, because when I worked the NASA tent at the Boy Scout Jamboree in southern West Virginia this summer, someone I secretly dubbed “Cargo Shorts Guy” politely reprimanded me for complaining about being covered in dust and dirt. “But it’s part of the Earth! That’s a beautiful thing! Don’t complain about Earth’s gift!” Uh yeah, whenever I have clods of “Earth’s gift” up my nose, you’d better be prepared for my constant complaining. Stuff it, granola man.

Anyway, after I got the vegetables put away, I started preparing dinner. I knew I wanted something low maintenance, since I knew I’d be making PBFinger’s eggplant medallions tonight, so I went with a simple curried chicken salad. I pulled the recipe from Food Network, but ended up putting too much mayonnaise in. I decided it wasn’t my fault and pointed the finger of blame at Ina Garten. (I also blame her for turning my mother into a lemon-juice-drizzling machine.) The recipe was simplified thanks to my lack of ingredients, so it took even less time than anticipated. I topped it on a bed of greens and sliced up some red pepper for the side. Delicious. I decided I needed something else, so I chopped up one of the bell/wax pepper things and sautéed it with some fresh garlic. Growing up, we would always eat sautéed wax peppers on buttered Italian bread, so I decided to follow suit. All in all, a great dinner.

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Following dinner I engaged in some much needed cuddle time with Karen. She’s a cat that  will pin you to the couch if you let her on your lap, so after about 30 minutes, I had to wiggle out from underneath of her.

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I hopped on to the floor to do a relatively quick yoga routine. I’ve really been digging this 30-Day Yoga series on Youtube lately, so I picked out a “continual flow” routine and got started. The girl who does these videos is very likeable and doesn’t come across as an arrogant yogi. I also really love her living room! After I did this, I did a few ab-strengthening moves, yesterday’s challenge and hit the couch. I must have gotten a great workout, because for the first time in my life, I slept through my alarm. I had pillow marks ALL over my face when I woke up! 

Ok, I’m off for the day. Before we part, let me leave you with another challenge to tack on to last night’s. Tonight, complete 15 lunges on each leg and 20 squats.

Curried Chicken Salad

3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on (I used canned chicken)
Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups good mayonnaise (recommended: Hellman’s)
1/3 cup dry white wine (I used white wine vinegar)
1/4 cup chutney (Omitted this!)
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

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.
Credit: Ina Garten, Food Network

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