Go from bland to delectable with this recipe for Ina Garten curry chicken salad! Succulent chicken, creamy curry sauce, and a little crunch make this salad really special.
You simply roast the chicken breasts, cook some onions, make your dressing, and add some mix-ins. It’s perfect for lunch or a light supper, in sandwiches for summer picnics, or for large parties.
This salad has the perfect blend of sweet and savory: in the sauce, Ina Garten adds dry white wine and chutney, and the raisins and cashews complement this. These few special ingredients will make your tastebuds happy!
Best of all, this salad is super easy to make! And if you’re short on time, buy pre-cooked chicken and just make the dressing from scratch.
I’ve adjusted Ina Garten’s recipe to suit my tastes, including sautéing onions with curry powder for an extra flavor kick. This salad is so delicious, I know it’ll become your new favorite.
Tips and Tricks for Making Ina Garten’s Curried Chicken Salad
- Temper the curry powder. To get the most flavor from your curry powder, briefly cook it in olive oil before adding other ingredients. This is called tempering. Tempering spices is a cooking technique from India, and it helps make them more flavorful.
- Adjust the spiciness. Different curry powders all have varying levels of intensity. So, as with other spices, start by adding a little, and then add more later if you want to amp up the spice.
- Roast the cashews. If you prefer to cook with raw cashews, roast them first! By roasting your cashews, you’ll deepen their flavor and make them crunchy. It just takes 5 minutes in a dry pan over medium-low heat. But stir them frequently, and watch them so they don’t burn. Or, to save time, buy pre roasted salted cashews.
- Add sweetness. You don’t have to add the raisins to this salad, but they’re a delicious addition! Their sweetness is a perfect complement to the spice. But if you don’t like raisins, you could also substitute dried cranberries or cherries.
- Let the flavors meld. This salad tastes best when the flavors have had a chance to meld. So, let it sit for at least 30 minutes in the fridge before you serve it. And if you can, leave it overnight. It’s a perfect make-ahead dish.However, don’t leave it for more than a day before serving. And always store it in the fridge, never at room temperature.
Ina Garten’s Curried Chicken Salad Recipe
- Prep Time15 min
- Cook Time45 min
- Total Time60 min
- Prepare Chicken Breasts
First, set the oven to 350 degrees F and let it preheat.
Then, grease or line the sheet pan and place the chicken breasts on it. Drizzle the skin with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with kosher salt and pepper.
- Roast Chicken
Roast the chicken breasts in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Check the internal temperature to make sure it’s cooked, but don’t over-bake it.
Next, let the chicken breasts cool down until you can handle them. Remove the skin and bones and dice chicken into small chunks.
Finally, put the chicken pieces into a bowl and set it aside.
- Fry Onions
In the saute pan, add a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Set the heat to medium, and when the oil is hot, add the onions.
Fry the onions until they’re golden brown. At that stage, stir in the curry powder and cook for a few minutes longer.
But make sure you keep stirring so that the spices don’t burn. And once the spices are fragrant, turn off the heat.
- Make Dressing
In the bowl of the food processor, add the onions and curry powder, wine, mayonnaise, chutney, and table salt.
Run the food processor until everything is very smooth.
- Assemble Chicken Salad
Pour some of the dressing over the chicken pieces, and stir to combine. Continue adding the dressing until the chicken is moist.
(You may not need all of the dressing, depending on the size of your chicken breasts.)
Then, add the raisins, celery, and chopped scallions, and stir to combine.
Cover the salad bowl and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour, or longer if you can.
It’s best if you can refrigerate it for a few hours or overnight.
- Add Cashews and Serve
When you’re ready to serve the chicken salad, let it come up to room temperature. Then, stir in the cashews. Enjoy!
Ways to Adapt This Ina Garten Curry Chicken Salad Recipe
There are lots of ways to play around with this salad!
- First, as I mentioned above, you could substitute dried cranberries or other dried fruit for the raisins. Cherries, apricots, or even prunes would be delicious.
- Or, try adding fresh fruit instead, such as apple chunks, grapes, or diced mango.
- To up the veggies, you could add grated carrot, diced cucumber, chopped red pepper, or olives. And for a heartier salad, add sliced boiled eggs.
- You can also make this salad vegetarian by substituting chickpeas for the chicken. Just adjust the salt levels.
And if you like your food spicy, toss in an extra dash of cayenne pepper.
You could make a delicious sandwich for lunch, but think outside the box.
This salad is also yummy as a filling for lettuce wraps, in a tortilla, or on a croissant. Or, you could serve it on top of a salad with grated parmesan cheese.
For classic sides, serve it with a slice of your favorite bread, potato chips, macaroni salad, or sliced veggies.
And don’t forget the pickle.