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Friday, August 10, 2007

Curry & Thyme Chicken Salad

This recipe is a favorite in our household, and really highlights the flavor of thyme. I love the way the crisp and subtle tartness of the apples stands up against the creamy, spiced curry base. The fresh thyme is really the star of this dish, bringing the rest of the tastes together. If you are someone who likes a little more sweetness with your chicken salad, you may enjoy the optional addition of either mango chutney or golden raisins.

About Thyme

Native to Europe, North Africa and Asia, it is thought that the use of thyme as an aromatic was spread by the Romans. Historically this herb was used in purifying, both spiritually and medicinally. It was popularly burned as incense for spiritual purification of person and home. Medicinally, it was used both as an antiseptic, and to treat respiratory ailments. There are 350 species of Thyme, of which at least three are important culinary varieties. Thyme is still associated with traditional cooking within the Roman Empire, including Italian, French, and Lebanese cuisines. When growing, thyme likes heat, sun and well-drained soil. It will suffer through lack of water better than many other herbs, but in my experience dies quickly if over-watered.


1.25 lbs chicken breast, cooked and cubed (1 cm)
¼ C real mayonnaise
¼ C unflavored yogurt (ideally, low fat Greek-style)
2-3 stalks celery, chopped small
1 large tart apple, chopped small
1.5-2 Tbsp shallot, chopped very fine
1 tsp curry powder
¾ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp turmeric
1.5-2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
¾ tsp salt
3 turns of freshly ground black pepper

Combine all. Stir to mix thoroughly. Refrigerate or keep cool. Serve as desired.

Notes: If you are less concerned about the "skinny" and enjoy the taste of real mayonnaise, you may enjoy substituting an additional 1/2 C mayonnaise for the 1/2 C yogurt in this recipe. This recipe is written for 12 servings when included in a picnic with other dishes. If you are serving it as the main or only course at a lunch, you may want to consider it 8-10 servings.

Excellent additions: 1-2 Tbsp mango chutney, 2 Tbsp chopped golden raisins

Appetizer Serving Variation: I served this open faced on sesame bread and also in lettuce wraps. For appetizer portions, dice the chicken finely. You can easily serve this salad bruschetta style on small rounds of bread. Also, consider serving 1 Tbsp of chicken salad on endive. Alternately, cut an English cucumber into 4 inch portions. Divide each portion in half with a diagonal cut. Hollow out the seeds. Serve 1 Tbsp chicken salad in these cucumber cups.

12 Servings. Per serving: 113 calories, 3.5 g fat, 222 mg sodium, 0.7 g fiber

This is the first of a two part entry this week for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by Cooking Diva.


Kalyn said...

I'm happy to see that Melissa is doing better and has finally posted the recap for this WHB. Thanks for being so patient.

Anonymous said...

I tried making this today since I already had all of the ingredients on hand. I put some of the salad on top of blue tortilla chips. It was pretty good.

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