25 June 2013

Curried Chicken Salad ... and a Hike

This is a healthy and lightened up version of chicken salad with a hot curry kick. It is a recipe found in a magazine called Delight- Gluten Free. I've had my eye on it for a while and was waiting for a day when I knew I'd be hungry for a substantial lunch-time sandwich. Today was the day! I started my day early, as it's really hot out. SB and I wanted to hike a piece of land over near Richmond, New Hampshire where the mountain laurel is in full bloom. We spent the morning exploring the forest trail along a small brook that feeds into Tully Brook and driving the back roads in the vicinity. By the time we got home, we were hot and hungry.

But about the mountain laurel ... do you know this shrub ? It's not a common landscape plant that I know of, but it would be perfectly happy where shade-loving rhododendrons grow and it is just so lovely. There are at least three different color varieties of the plant - white with pink innards to the flowers, a light pink with a bit darker pink innards to the flowers, and a deeper pinkish rose color that is really vivid and beautiful. This type is the common white ...like a froth of flowers on the bushes! I just love seeing it in its natural setting ...

mountain laurel banks from afar

one cluster up close

The clusters of flowers shroud the shrubs and they grow in great swaths along moist waterways and in light cover within the forest. The path that we traipsed today had all manner of wildflowers that were along side and extending into the forest - lady slippers, trillium, partridge berry, princess pine varieties, wintergreen vines, and some jack-in-the-pulpit. The only flowers in bloom were the partridge berry; the lady slippers and trillium have already bloomed and set their berries. The jack-in-the-pulpit plants have not set their blossoms yet.

mountain laurel blossoms

There were other shrubs under the canopy too. Can you see the blueberries that have set on the shrub?

wild high bush blueberries

I spent time along the trail capturing some nice photos and enjoying the songbirds and bull frogs. It was pretty noisy in the woods. SB and the dogs were always in the lead and pushing along at a good clip ... they spent some time by the water getting a drink and laying in the shallows before we headed back to the car.

I'm always a sucker for a good reflection shot ... what can I say? Composing it let me catch my breath from the 'up and down and over tree roots and around boulder's on the trail.

Metacomet trail

The trail was full of exposed roots and rocks ... I found that I really had to watch where I was walking and just stop now and then to photograph - no snapping on the fly.

partridge berry blossoms

clubmoss and lady slipper plants along the trail

various stages of blossom development - gorgeous, huh !

Okay ... I guess you get the picture. I am a fiend for wild flowers and this morning was the best! Back to that sandwich waiting for me, though! Lay the levash bread out on something that will catch any spillage, layer on the greens (spinach is good!), the chicken salad, begin to roll, fold in the ends, and continue to roll, anchor with toothpicks, cut, and voila! Lunch!

Curried Chicken Salad


1 lb. boneless and skinless chicken breasts, poached
1 large stalk of celery, finely chopped
3 scallions, whites and greens, chopped
½ c. dried cranberries, chopped
1 c. green seedless grapes, washed and quartered
½ c. walnuts, chopped
1 – 6 oz. container of plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. honey
Juice of half a lemon or lime
2 ¼ tsp. curry powder
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Making the Salad:

  1. Poach the chicken breasts in simmering chicken broth that has been flavoured with some chopped parsley and tarragon for about 15 minutes.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, toss together the celery, cranberries, grapes, walnuts, and scallions.
  3. In another small bowl, combine the yogurt, honey, olive oil, and lemon juice and curry powder.
  4. Either shred or chop the chicken when it has cooled down. Reserve the broth for another use.
  5. Toss the cooled and prepped chicken in with the fruit and veg and toss together.
  6. Pour the dressing over all and gently combine to coat everything well.
  7. Correct the seasonings.
  8. Turn the salad into a pretty bowl and chill for at least an hour.
  9. Use the salad in lettuce ‘cups’ or make levash bread wraps.


  1. Love this salad and the way you served it!
    Great pics.

  2. What lovely photos, Susan. Woodland gardens, planned or natural, are always cool, serene and welcoming. I love your curried salad. I make one that is similar but mine uses turkey rather than chicken. I hope you are having a great week. Blessings...Mary

    1. You know? I neglected to credit the source for this recipe - a GF magazine that was passed to me by a dear friend! Thanks for your comment, Mary! It nudged me to do the right thing! Off to edit!

  3. how beautiful are those blossoms... i've never seen anything similar in the UK, they're just so delicate... I do love a curried chicken salad, this sounds similar to a 'coronation' chicken we make here... beautiful, sweet and hot!

  4. What a nice morning you had. An early start was a smart idea. The mountain and forest plants are lovely. Yummy looking lunch too. My eyes were mesmerized by the chips. I don't buy them very often because I have absolutely no self control. My plate would be chips with a sandwich on the side. I love that crunchy salt potato taste. We have been in the 90's here. School has been unbearably hot. Today is our last day!!!! Yipeeeeee!

  5. That chicken salad sandwich would be a great finish to any morning, especially after that hike. We're lucky to have lots of laurel growing, and this is its season here in Pennsylvania. I love how it grows such lovely flowers in the woods -- like cream cheese in a brownie!


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