It’s been a while. Sorry about that. Life has a way of providing more that its share of distractions from time to time…
This recipe is a Whole30 adaptation of Ina Garten’s delicious Curried Chicken Salad
One of the differences between our first and second rounds of Whole30, is that this time, we have been a little more adventurous and have adapted a number of our favorite non-Whole30 recipes to be plan compliant. During our first round, I feel like we were a bit more conservative, learning a new way of cooking and eating, and just trying to make it through. This time, however, we are more confident in our plan-compliant cooking abilities and more willing to make something compliant instead of avoiding it altogether.
Ina’s recipe is delicious but contains three ingredients that would have had us trembling during our first Whole30: mayonnaise, white wine, and mango chutney. Each one of these ingredients alone could make me weak in the knees, but trust me, you won’t miss them!
The mango chutney has an obvious fix. Just forget how delicious mango chutney is and remember how delicious fresh mango is. We used chunks of fresh mango for this recipe. However, you could just as easily make a mango puree, which would distribute the mango flavor better but wouldn’t give you the excitement of wondering when the next sweet, juicy mango-burst was going to happen.
The white wine is slightly less obvious. Regardless of the flavor it imparts, 1/3 of a cup of liquid definitely contributes to the consistency of the finished salad and probably shouldn’t be overlooked. Unfortunately, I’m painfully unaware of the existence of Whole30 white wine… someone should work on that one. So, don’t pine for it, just keep your eye on the prize and find a flavorful liquid to use as a substitution. My answer: the drippings and residual olive oil from roasting the chicken breasts. Instead of adding another layer of flavor (wine) this enhances the chicken flavor… this is a chicken salad, after all.
Honestly, the entire reason we first made a Whole30 compliant mayonnaise was so we could make this curried chicken salad and I encourage you to do the same, if you haven’t already. Homemade mayo is easier than you might think and so very worth the small effort that it takes to make. Don’t get me wrong, I love Hellman’s and I love Duke’s but homemade is even more delicious and it comes with the added bonus of being guilt-free. You made it, so you know what’s in it and now you feel free to practically bathe in it!
Once you figure out your substitutions, the rest is a breeze. Roast the chicken, combine everything in a bowl, mix, and try to keep yourself from eating it all in one sitting!
LET’S GET STARTED
Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil and season liberally with kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper.
Bake at 400F for 30 minutes. This time and temperature will leave you with technically over-cooked chicken, but in this application it is actually beneficial because it will allow the chicken to shred a bit and soak up more mayo.
Once the chicken has cooled enough to handle, cut into bite sized chunks and add to a large mixing bowl. Notice the juices and residual olive oil in the pan? That is your white wine substitute. Pour it onto the chicken.
The lineup: celery, scallions, mango, raisins, cashews, curry powder, and a vat of Whole30 mayo. While the chicken is cooking slice the scallions, dice the celery, and peel and slice the mango. It really helps this process if you have a super-fancy new chef’s knife that your wonderful wife got you for your birthday… just sayin’.
Add all ingredients to the bowl and mix thoroughly. Adjust seasoning with kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper.
Feel free to take a spoon and go off to a quiet, comfy spot and eat the entire bowl, but if you can manage the self-control, I recommend refrigerating it first. Like many things, it gets better as it sits. The curry powder blooms, the raisins become plum and juicy, and all the flavors marry nicely. Our favorite way to eat this curried chicken salad is simply mounded onto a leaf of romaine lettuce.
- 4 chicken breasts (drippings reserved)
- 1 ½ cups of Whole30 compliant mayonnaise
- 2 large ribs of celery, diced
- 2-3 scallions, sliced
- 1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped
- ½ cup raisins
- 1 cup roasted, salted cashews
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (for chicken)
- kosher salt
- freshly-cracked black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil. Season liberally with kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper. Bake for 30 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking slice the scallions, dice the celery, and peel and slice the mango. Add all ingredients to the bowl and mix thoroughly. Adjust seasoning with kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper.
- Good immediately but much better after being refrigerated overnight. We suggest serving on leaves of romaine lettuce.