Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hot Hot Hot....and Cool Curried Chicken Salad

Oh, I love summer-time, and we had a fabulous week at the lake cottage in northern Michigan two weeks ago (below). Blue-sky days, bright sunshine, crystal clear lakes and temps in the high '70s. Add to that, my two (nearly grown) kids and about 25 extended family members (see all the kids second pic below), and you've got a week to remember! Perfection!!!

But then you come back to reality. Squeezed between my vacation and a work trip to New York City, I dealt with a broken cell phone and a cracked windshield (really, your windshield can pop a huge crack if you spray cold water from the hose on it on a steamy, hot day). Post-NYC, I also encountered a garage door totally askew and a broken vacuum cleaner! And in the meantime we're moving Barista into her new apartment before grad school starts.

But yesterday and today, when the Ohio temps inched up to wilting 97 degrees with total humidity (wavy, wavy hair), was Chip's two-day orientation at Ohio State! Totally fun (if a bit unbearably hot), the two days were invigorating for him (Go Bucks!) and he is all scheduled for fall classes. Needless to say, after two days trekking around the largest campus in America in this scorching heat, I did not feel like cooking. So I made a delish curried chicken salad, and enjoyed some down time with my flowers on the patio, below.

The recipe's grilled chicken (indoors, thank you) is mixed with crunchy veggies, sweet grapes, chewy dried cranberries, crunchy almonds and a full-flavored but very simple curried mayo. Check it out:

1.25 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 T olive oil
salt, pepper, garlic salt

1/2 cup light mayonnaise (I used the Hellman's with olive oil)
Juice from 1/2 lime
1/2 to 1 teaspoon curry powder (to your taste)
dash salt

1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 cup green grapes, sliced in half
2 T dried cranberries or dried cherries
1/4 sweet Vidalia onion, chopped
2 T chopped salted, roasted almonds
2 T chopped fresh cilantro

Rub chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic salt. Heat grill pan. Grill chicken until just done. Let cool slightly and dice.

Mix mayo, lime juice and curry powder together. Mix chicken, mayo mixture and all other ingredients, stirring gently. Chill and serve!

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