Coronation Chicken Salad
I am making this recipe, and I’m just at the “take a rest, have a cuppa, put your feet up” pause, which I so enjoy in recipes. The breakfast bites recipe has one, and the recipe I’m making uses the same tactic: an enforced wait for ingredients to cool. In this one, the chicken comes hot out of the oven around the same time the sauce is “thick,” and both must cool before the next step.
I put “thick” in quotes, because as cooking descriptions go, “thick” is pretty ambiguous: there’s thick and there’s thick. I decided that since it was a chicken salad, you definitely did not want the sauce to pool at the bottom of the bowl. So I went for sour-cream thick.
I measured out ALL the sauce ingredients into little bowls while the onions cooked. (And speaking of handy measures, 2 Tbsp butter weighs 1 oz. I buy butter in blocks, so I don’t have a good cutting guide—but I do have a good kitchen scale.) I have this set of measuring prep bowls, only in pumpkin, and I find it so useful I keep it on the counter. (The bowls nest and so take up little room.)
It was much easier doing just the measuring step on its own, rather than mixing it with the mixing step. And putting the sauce together then was just a matter of dumping little bowls of stuff into the large sauté pan. (I used the large pan because I wanted a lot of surface area to reduce the sauce quickly.) Then it was simmer and stir until it was as thick as sour cream, more or less. That takes a while.
Tomato purée, BTW, comes in 28-oz cans, so I have 26 oz of it (28 oz – 1/4 c (or 2 oz)) in jars in the fridge—but since I’ll be making this pretty often, at least for a while, I’ll use it up.
I used thighs instead of breasts, and roasted a pan of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. They browned fine. I gave them 40 minutes total. (Checked after 30.)
UPDATE: I just ate a bowl of it, and it’s terrific. Will be making again.
I used Penzey’s Sweet Curry Powder; I imagine it would be different with New Curry Powder or Maharajah or whatever. Room to explore.
To mix it, transfer the sauce to a bowl big enough to hold all the chicken. Then add the mayo to that and stir together. It takes some mixing, since the sauce is thick.
As I pulled the chicken thighs to bits, i realized that the roasting was to up the crisp factor of the salad by giving the top of the chicken a crisp finish. At least it had that effect.
I went with dried apricots this time, but want to try dried yellow raisins or Sultanas next time.
I skipped the bay leaf altogether. I can never taste the difference it makes, presumably because of a blind spot in my olfactory range—to some, the difference is doubtless intense and obvious.
It’s extremely good. This will be a regular, for at least a while. Trying different curries, different dried fruits, shallots or scallions instead of onions, and so on.
You know my own mayonnaise recipe—here’s an excellent example (in which “heaping 1/2 tsp” = 3/4 tsp), and I definitely would use the anchovy fillets in this ocntext. You might look also at this recipee. Using a 2-minute poached egg seems quite interesting. (In looking up “poaching eggs,” I learned the trick of using a tall, narrow pot (my 2-qt All-Clad Stainless is perfect), and then to swirl the water to make a whirlpool, and slide the egg from the bowl into the center of the whirlpool.)
That recipe calls for two cups oil, 1.5 of canola, .5 of EVOO. I’ve tried that sort of thing, and I really prefer the 100% EVOO, but tastes vary, and it certainly would be cheaper if canola oil sufficed.