Curried Chicken Salad with Toasted Almonds and Golden Raisins

I often roast a chicken on Sunday or Monday night to serve to friends or to pick at for the rest of the week. Roasting a whole chicken seemed initially intimidating to me- for no other reason than the fact that I was placing an entire animal in the oven, which, for a convert from semi-vegetarianism seemed a task akin to hunting and butchering my own elk. It turns out, however, that roasting chicken is actually quite simple (thank you jamie oliver)  and it gives me the cozy feeling of being a homemaker, which in reality, I am not.

This week I decided to exercise self-restraint. Instead of devouring the chicken within minutes of emerging from the oven, golden and crispy-skinned and juicy, I waited until it cooled, shredded it to pieces, and decided to make chicken salad for the week. I wanted a salad with all the usual elements- crunch, tartness, sweetness, a little bite. And I wanted to utilize the mountains of fresh spices so readily available here in Tangier.

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Curry, crunchy toasted almonds, chunks of pineapple, plump golden raisins- she’s the exotic cousin to the Waldorf. I used a flaky croissant from one of the many local bakerie to make a sandwich, but I’m sure this salad would be equally delicious heaped onto wheat crackers, toasted brioche, or even slices of green apple. I like to think that this chicken salad forges cultural connections yet unseen in the culinary world (American tradition, Indian spices, Moroccan flair). Or it just provides me with lunch for the week. In any case, I’m excited about it.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 roasted chicken, shredded
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 2 green onions finely chopped
  • 300 grams chopped canned pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons of curry powder (I made my own from this recipe)
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 a lemon
  1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Place the almonds on a tray and bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently. I like my almonds very toasty, but be careful not to let them burn! Remove from the oven when they are dark brown and you can smell them.
  2. Meanwhile, soak the golden raisins in the juice from the pineapple. Drain.
  3. When almonds are cool, chop coarsely. Mix curry powder with yogurt and mayonnaise.
  4. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl with curry-yogurt-mayo mixture. Mix well to make sure salad is uniform. Squeeze lemon into salad, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Salad will keep in refrigerator for four days. Makes enough for about 8 sandwiches.

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