Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Curried Chicken Salad and Jicama Stix

This recipe is by special request from my friend Marenka! It's really easy to do and is so tasty for a weekend lunch or light dinner. We often serve it in half of an avocado nestled in a pile of shredded romaine lettuce, but it would be awesome on whole grain bread or a good croissant (if you're in Paris!) for a meal on the go.
We packed it for a picnic in Pedernales State Park on Memorial Day and ate it scooped right out of the container with tortilla chips. I also made veggie sticks out of half of the beautiful tailed jicama from our expedition to the Asian market on Saturday. A light and delicious snack served Mexican style with cilantro, lime and chili powder.
Thanks Marenka for asking for a recipe for chickie salad! Somehow it had fallen out of the rotation and we'd forgotten how good it is! :-)

Curried Cashew Chicken Salad:

2 bone-in, skin on chicken breasts
1/2 Tbs real mayonnaise (don't use the light stuff, it's full of gross stuff. You can leave it out altogether if you want)
a nice big spoonful of 2% greek yogurt (use non-fat, 2%, or full fat...whatever you'd like)
~1/2-3/4 tsp mild curry powder
1 Tbs minced green onions
~1/4 cup diced celery
~1/3 cup chopped cilantro
zest of 1/2 a lemon and a squeeze of it's juice
~1/4+ cup roasted cashews (if you don't plan on eating the chicken salad soon, leave the cashews out and just add before you eat, so they don't go mushy on you)
~1/4-1/3 cup dried fruit such as good dried apricots, cranberries, or golden raisins...I used chopped apricots and they were delish!
Kosher salt and pepper

Set oven to 350.
Place chicken breasts (the better the layer of skin covers the breast the better they'll turn out) on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Rub them with olive oil.
Salt and pepper liberally.

Roast for 35-40 minutes...or until temperature taken at the thickest part of the breast reaches 170 degrees.
Remove from oven and let cool until you're able to handle them. I usually wrap them in the foil they baked on and just set them to the back of the counter until I'm ready for them.
Prep all of your other ingredients.

When cool, remove the skin from the chicken (I usually turn the top over and rub it on the meat to get some of the salt and pepper onto the actual meat), then pull all the meat from the bone.
Cube the chicken and put in a medium bowl.

Add the green onions, celery, cilantro, apricots and cashews to the chicken and stir to combine.
Now add the yogurt, mayo, lemon juice, zest, curry powder. Stir and taste.
Add the salt and fresh gound black pepper, give it one last light stir and taste...if you're happy with the flavor, cover and chill in the fridge until you're ready to eat.

Jicama Stix:

as much jicama as you plan on eating, peeled, and sliced into sticks
lime juice (for 1/2 a good sized jicama I think I used 1-1 1/2 limes worth)
chili powder to taste
a good handful of chopped cilantro
a touch of Kosher salt
Mix all of the ingredients together and let marinate in the fridge for 2 or more hours, then enjoy!

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