Saturday, June 16, 2012

curry chicken & mango salad

london, england is one of my favorite places in the world. i was lucky enough to live there twice (briefly) - once on a semester abroad and then for 6 months soon after i graduated from college. coming back after that 6 months was almost physically painful. every day for the next more-than-a-year i actively missed the city and cursed the work visa restrictions that had sent me home. 

now it's been TEN years since i was there (!). i still can't really believe it, but a combination of no money and little time (among other things) has kept me from going back to visit. i'm hoping to go soon, though, once i start raking in the big lawyer cash (ha! just kidding! i specialized in public interest law like a sucker!). now that i have several dear friends living there, it's become even more of a priority, so ojala i'll be visiting ye olde towne sooner rather than later.

in the meantime, i can make things like this curried chicken salad and pretend it's coronation chicken. during my after-college stint there, i worked as a medical secretary in an oncology hospital in central-ish london. it was somewhat depressing work, as can be imagined, but it paid well and everyone i worked with was charming. there was also an adorable little park nearby and virtually every day i would go to the pret a manger and get a sandwich, then go to the park and read. they had several iterations of coronation chicken which i never got to try, since i was a vegetarian then. but they probably weren't as good as this version, anyway, so hopefully i didn't miss out too much. 

start with perhaps a cup and a half or two cups of bite-sized-ed chicken. i like to use some white meat and some dark, because that's how i roll (flavorfully and with pleasing texture), but you can use whatever. it could be roasted or poached or even grilled. usually i just roast some bone-in breasts and drumsticks in the oven for one dinner, then use the leftovers for salad. 

i only used half a mango for this batch, but more wouldn't be bad. cutting up a mango is easiest if you slice down one of the flatter sides of it, use a knife to score the flesh in whatever size you'd like, making sure not to cut through the skin, then push it sort of inside out so you can just slice the cubes off the skin part. you probably want to cut it into pieces a little smaller than those above.

then just mix everything together, let it sit for a bit to meld the flavors better, and pile it on a sandwich or in a pita or have it with crackers or little toasts or even stuffed into tomatoes, once they get really summer-good. the curry isn't overpowering, but it's a welcome change from regular chicken salad and the sweetness of the mango and slight tartness of the yogurt are really nice. it's basically a perfect summer salad. whether you imagine yourself in london when you eat it is up to you. 

~ 1 1/2 - 2 cups chopped cooked chicken (i used about 2/3 of a large breast + 2 drumsticks)
1/4 cup each mayo and yogurt
1/8 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp curry powder
juice of 1/2 a lime
1/2 a mango
handful cilantro
4 or 5 thinly sliced scallions

listening to: the herbaliser, solex


  1. We haven't had anyone for dinner since we've moved, and suddenly this week we're having people for dinner 3 times this week. I'm using living awesomely to plan what to cook - sure to wow our guests.

    I hope you visit London soon. xo

    1. ha! i hope your dinner parties worked out. i'm sure they did - you always have the best dinner parties. i, too, hope we make it there soon, and please keep posting pictures on facebook when you can! hi to the family!