Curry chicken salad sandwich displayed with red bell peppers on a black plate

I

had a busy day with work and Nathan had been in the kitchen looking around for something to make for dinner when I had remembered that we still hadn’t tried our hand at homemade mayonnaise. He obliged and was off! Using Samin Nosrats’ book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat as our guide, he broke the first mayonnaise, fixed it and it was superb! Three simple ingredients, an egg yolk, olive oil and salt. I had some left over chicken from our Oven Roasted Whole Chicken on a Bed of Leeks, a few local apples from Clairs Orchard and viola! Here is our variation for ya!

The Basics

From Prep to Completion 20 minutes

Temperature Chilled in the refrigerator

Servings 4 sandwiches

When It Is Done The spices have had time to settle with the rest of the ingredients and is now ready to serve on toast or salad

Pair With

Variations If you are not a fan of curry powder then just leave it out. You could add 1 tsp of paprika for color too or just leave it without. Though we display our Curry Chicken Salad on toast with micro greens, you could eat it without the toast or place the salad on a bed of butter lettuce that has been tossed lightly in a small amount of olive oil and lemon juice (enough to make the lettuce glisten).

A Little Bit About: Curry Chicken Salad & Taste Testing

You most likely will always find that chicken salad has a mayonnaise base. Then you choose what direction you want to go, more toward the savory or sweet. Add in some ingredients for color and crunch and you have a very delicious, fast meal that can be eaten carb free on a bed of salad greens or on toast.

Autumn is now upon us which I have come to learn is apple season. We headed over to our local farmers store and picked up a few different varieties to taste test; Idared, Crimson Crisp, Granny Smith, Jonamac, and Zestar. We made the chicken salad and used the apple slices as our ‘chips’ and found that the Idared was the winner.

I want to encourage you to have fun in the kitchen by trying different varieties of fruits and vegetables and then learning about your preferences in the process. I had no idea there were so many apple varieties till I moved to Pennsylvania and it has been a blast getting to know that I actually prefer a softer, white on the inside, apple – McIntosh.

A display of the food prep

We sampled a variety of apples and settled on the Idared. We wanted a strong and sharp flavor of sweetness. Not every apple is alike so have fun and buy a few varieties to taste test!

Curry chicken salad sandwich displayed with red bell peppers on a black plate

Teaching Moment

Making Homemade Mayonnaise

Now this was fun and enlightening! I have never made homemade mayonnaise and come to think of it, I don’t think I have ever had homemade mayonnaise. The taste is astronomical in difference!

First, start with an egg yolk at room temperature (save your egg white for a morning scramble, it will be fine in the fridge overnight just make sure to cover it). Every egg yolk can hold up to 3/4 cup of olive oil and will make 3/4 cup of mayonnaise.

Emulsification

(ie. whisk fast) is what will take egg yolk + olive oil = mayonnaise. Begin with just a few drops and do not stop whisking. Once you are about halfway through your olive oil then you can begin to add it more quickly. If it gets too thick to whisk then add a bit of water or lemon juice to thin out and then keep going. If your mayonnaise did not come together this means it is broken and there are different reasons why this happened. Your ingredients were not the same temperature, you added the oil in too fast, and/or you did not whisk quickly enough for the fat to break down and incorporate with the yolk.

Making homemade mayonnaise

How do you fix a broken mayo?

Despite the fact that your shoulder is exhausted by now, empty your broken mayonnaise back into the measuring cup and use the same bowl. Add a few drops of hot tap water into the dirty bowl, whisk it around a bit and then start the process again. Don’t fret! You will get it! When you have made the mayonnaise (see image below), TASTE it and adjust with some salt. If you want it runnier then you can add some water or lemon juice. All done!

*Taste your olive oil before using it. If its bitter or rancid, do not use it. I will save this conversation for another blog post about Olive Oil.

Homemade mayonnaise complete

Making the Time

Autumn is here and though I am excited I am also sad to see the summer go. I am still getting used to the cold weather here, the restrictions it brings but also welcoming the changes that are to come. The days have been busy and dinner time is always an intentional time to ask the kids and my husband about their highs and lows of the day, learning about them in the process. Seasons change and so do we. Keep asking, pressing in and learning about those you love.

Questions to answer at the table

Mise en Place:

Read the recipe first | Lay out your ingredients | Prepare your tools | Start cooking

Curry Chicken Salad

All ingredients displayed with labels
Toasted almonds
How the chicken salad should look once all ingredients have been combined

Curry Chicken Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Curry Chicken Salad is such a wonderful grab and go kind of lunch. It works wonderful for a warm afternoon picnic at the park. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Ingredients

Mayonnaise

1 egg yolk, room temperature

3/4 cup of olive oil

salt to taste

-OR-

3/4 cup of Mayonnaise

Curry Chicken Salad

3 cups of shredded chicken

1/2 cup of red onion

1 apple (sharp and sweet such as a Honeycrisp or Idared), diced

1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped

1/3 cup of raisins or dried currants

1/3 cup of sliced almonds, toasted

1 to 3 tsp of curry powder

1 tsp of salt, more to taste

1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper

black pepper to taste

Serving

Micro greens

Whole wheat toast

Drizzle of yellow mustard (optional)

Grapes

Directions

  1. Making Mayonnaise: Start with a clean bowl and add your egg yolk. Whisk quickly and add in the olive oil one drop at a time, when you are about halfway through your olive oil you can start adding it in more quickly. If your mayo gets too thick to whisk you can add a few drops of water as you go. Once your mayonnaise comes together, taste and adjust with salt to your liking. If you would like your mayonnaise runnier, whisk in some water or lemon juice. (If your mayo breaks refer to teaching moment above).
  2. Toasting Sliced Almonds: Using a frying pan set over medium heat and wait till your pan has heated all the way through. Add in your almonds and swish them around for a few minutes, you should visually see them toasting up and darkening a touch in color. Tip onto a plate and set aside to cool.
  3. Curry Chicken Salad: In a large mixing bowl, add in your mayonnaise and whisk in your spices – curry powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper and salt. Next add in your chicken, red onion, apple, cilantro, raisins, and toasted almonds, mix to combine.
  4. Assembly: Toast up your bread and lay down a layer of micro greens. Spoon on some chicken salad and top with a drizzle of yellow mustard (optional). Serve alongside grapes as they are a great palette cleanser and very refreshing! Enjoy!

What to Consider

If curry powder isn’t your spice of choice but you would like to try it then start with a tsp and add more if you like.

When making homemade mayonnaise, TASTE your olive oil before hand. Does it taste bitter or rancid? Don’t use it.

Micro greens come in many varieties (broccoli, alfalfa, arugula, leek, etc.) so have fun and grab a few different ones to see what you enjoy best!

Nathan’s Deluxe Sandwich – Add two strips of bacon, throw in some fresh chopped jalapeños, and consider adding a slice of muenster or Swiss cheese to your toasted bread!!

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