16 February 2011

on picnics and chicken salad


When February got going, so did North Carolina's infamous fickle weather. One day it's snowing, the next I'm reading outside in the 60 degree sunshine, hardly able to believe my luck. Today it's frigid again, but yesterday was so gentle and warm that I was sorely in the mood for a stroll in our local gardens and arboretums....with a picnic in hand, of course.

I love picnics. I love soft blankets, wriggling my toes in cool grass, blowing bubbles and dozing under swaying trees and sunny blue skies. Oh, and I love the FOOD.

The picnic documented above consisted of much deliciousness:  lemon bars, chocolate-dipped strawberries, sliced kiwi, carrots and hummus, pita chips, smoked gouda cheese, red grapes, fresh baguette, and my own recipe for curried chicken salad. The salad is quite refreshing; the bite from the spices, the sweet and salty flavors melding, the satisfying crunch of juicy vegetables, and even the sunny bright color of curry make it an all-around pleasing picnic snack.

Curried Chicken Salad

(Serves 2 to 4.)

2 medium chicken breasts, cooked
1 large stalk celery
1 small apple
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp yellow mustard
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
Dash garlic powder
Dash cinnamon
Salt and paper to taste
(Optional:  quartered grapes, walnuts, diced white onion)

Chop the chicken, celery, and apple into chunks about 1 cm square, and toss into a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. You may want to add more mayonnaise or more curry depending how strong you like the flavor.

Serve with French bread, in a hearty sandwich, or over greens with a drizzle of dressing.

(photos by me)


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