I recently went to a Shelton's Market, a local grocery store which carries the best and freshest chicken around. I make a special trip about every two months or so to stock up hoards of chicken pieces. I cut up some of the wings into two pieces (the surfboard and the battle club) and package them for Buffalo Wings, package some whole for future fried chicken wings and individually wrap breasts and thighs for whatever strikes my fancy. Yesterday, I woke desiring curried chicken salad, so a Shelton's chicken breast played its part in contributing to last nights dinner.
I started by roasting a whole, bone in chicken breast, simply seasoned with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes. Let it cool until easily handled and shred into chunky bite sized pieces. I find good chicken salad is achieved through big chunky pieces of chicken and lots of texture so avoid little minced pieces of chicken here. Place the shredded (or chopped) chicken into a large mixing bowl with two chopped stalks of lettuce, 1/4 chopped red onion, 1/2 cup freshly toasted cashews and a handful of plump raisins (the raisins are optional, some like them, some don't, I do!).
For the dressing, I think it is a good idea to heat the curry powder to release the fragrance and intensify the flavors. I heated about 2 tablespoons of curry powder in a dry skillet over med high heat, just until the aroma started to fill the kitchen, but not too long as to burn. Transfer the curry powder into a mixing bowl with 1/4 cup mayonaise, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 tablespoon or so of Major Grey's Chutney, a splash of white wine and salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
Pour the dressing over the chicken and mix well. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to allow the flavors to come together. I enjoyed mine after only 2 hours and, although delicious nonetheless, it was a bit too soon. Today I have a spoonful for lunch and by now it will be perfect. Serve as a sandwich with really great nutty bread or, as I did, on a bed of lettuce with a simple grilled bread accompaniment. It had all the elements of a terrific chicken salad, chunky, crunchy, creamy, spicy and delicious!