Luncheon, appetizer, or light summer dinner, Curry Chicken Salad is refreshingly simple. The original recipe calls for halved grapes, which are wonderful and juicy, but easier to eat with a fork. Serving this classic salad with dried fruit in crisp lettuce boats eliminates the need for heavy breads or unwieldy utensils.
I prefer the contrast in color of dried cranberries, though currants and golden raisins are a great change-up. Romaine hearts or Belgian endive can be used for the boats—Romaine hearts are less expensive, endive is a little more elegant. Perfect for casual gatherings, baby or bridal showers, guests can easily mingle while noshing. A beautiful presentation, simple to make, deliciously light—this appetizer sails!
Curry Chicken Salad Boats
Yields 12-14 appetizers
1 head romaine lettuce hearts or 2 heads of endive — separated, washed
2 cups cooked chicken breast — cut into 1/2″ pieces
1/2 cup celery — chopped
1/2 cup carrot — chopped
1/4 cup green onion — finely chopped
1 cup dried cranberries, currants, or golden raisins
1/2 cup walnuts or cashews — coarsely chopped
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon honey
Trim the end from the Romaine head and wash and dry the leaves. Use the smaller leaves in the middle first as they are already close to the size and shape needed to make the “boats”. For additional boats, trim the larger leaves to approximate size of the smaller ones (see photo).
Prepare meat, fruit, nuts, and vegetables as indicated; toss gently in a bowl. Mix dressing ingredients until well blended. Add to the chicken mixture to coat. Salt to taste.
Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of salad into the lettuce boats and arrange on a tray. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
NOTE: This is a great way to use leftover roasted or grilled chicken. Boats can be prepared several hours in advance and refrigerated.