We have a tradition in our family to take a picnic in the Cuyahoga Valley several times each summer. Sometimes we eat while listening to free concerts; sometimes we eat after visiting the farmer’s market; and sometimes we just eat and let the kids run around. It’s something we all look forward to when the weather gets warm.
This recipe is the result of being tired of deli meat sandwiches and PB&Js on these outings. One night a couple of years ago, I made this chicken salad to vary things up a bit, and now it’s our picnic standby.
Curry & Cranberry Chicken Salad
2 cooked chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
2 T. minced onion
1/4 c. diced celery
1/4 c. dried cranberries
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 heaping T. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. mild curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Keep refrigerated until ready to eat. Serve on whole wheat bread with some iceberg lettuce for extra crunch.
P.S. A lot of recipes start out with cooked chicken breasts. I used to shy away from these because I wasn’t sure how to go about this step. Did it mean baking? Pan frying? I’ve learned that if its not specified exactly how to cook the chicken, you should just poach it. Which basically just means boiling. I place the chicken in a pan and fill it with water or chicken broth so that the chicken isn’t quite covered. I add a bay leaf and some salt and pepper, then boil the chicken for about 3 minutes. Then I remove the pan from heat, cover it, and let the chicken sit for another 15 minutes, flipping halfway through.
P.P.S. Save time by poaching several chicken breasts as soon as you come home from the grocery store. They should be done by the time you put away all the other groceries. Then you can freeze them individually wrapped until you’re ready to use them. This tip has seriously saved my life!