The last several months have taken a toll on all of us and has left many of us feeling a bit helpless. While the world rages on one thing we can do is turn inward and minister to our families. We can make our homes a safe and peaceful harbor. When I’m having a particularly difficult time in my life I turn to creative cooking as a positive outlet and as a way of nourishing my family–body and soul. One of our favorite summer meals is a simple chicken salad. Recently I’ve experimented with my tried and true recipe and given it a fresh and spicy twist by adding fried curry spices to the dressing. The result is quite lovely and a big hit with my family.
3 split, bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 small shallot; diced
1 clove garlic; minced
1/2 inch ginger root; peeled and grated
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup mayonaise
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional garnishes: grapes, apple, pistachios, goat cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and bake for one hour or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove and rest until cool enough to handle. Remove skin and bones and discard. Cut breast meat into 1/2 inch chunks and place in a large bowl. Refrigerate while the dressing is being made.
In a small skillet melt coconut oil over medium high heat. Add shallots along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and sauté about 5 minutes until soft and golden brown. Add garlic and ginger and sauté for about 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining spices. Sauté and stir an additional 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant and sizzling. Remove from heat and spoon into a small bowl. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. Add mayonnaise, lemon juice and stir together. Pour dressing over cooled chicken and stir, adding salt and pepper to taste. Chill for at least an hour, allowing the flavors to meld. Serve over a bed of greens and garnish with halved grapes, diced apple, pistachios, and crumbled goat cheese.