You might not think the scoop of chicken salad in the photo looks like anything special, but it is. It is one of the best chicken salads you will ever eat, and it is hands down my favorite. I like things “kicked up a notch” and loaded with flavor. As far as chicken salads go, this is as flavorful a version as you’ll find anywhere.
I add a few “secret ingredients” that really give this recipe a kick: mango chutney, Wickles relish, and curry powder. These are ingredients that can be adjusted to taste. My recipe doesn’t taste overwhelmingly different–just enough to make folks ask what’s in it! Just experiment until you find what your family loves.
This recipe has a wonderful bite from the slivered almonds, celery and relish. It has a flavorful dressing that combines mayo, mango chutney, and Wickles relish. I add 1-2 teaspoons of curry powder, which is entirely optional but which my family loves.
Curry powder is actually not a spice, but a mixture of up to 20 spices, herbs, and seeds. Curry is not just for Indian cuisine; in fact, it is a versatile ingredient that can turn a basic dish into a not-so-boring one. I love curry and think that even just a tad makes the best chicken salad ever.
Chutney is basically a savory jam with ingredients like vinegar, mustard seed, and onion. It adds an interesting and flavorful twist to lots of dishes, and I keep a jar in the fridge at all times. A good chutney isn’t on every corner, and I don’t know of a grocery store brand that tastes great.
I love The Virginia Chutney Co. brand which is sold at Whole Foods and The Fresh Market. It is a tangy, spicy, wonderful addition to chicken salad, but it has myriad other uses also–from cheese balls to glazes for roasted meats.
Once you start making your own chicken salad, you’ll love having it on hand. Before I created this recipe and began making my own, I would often buy chicken salad at several local restaurants but would cringe at the price per pound (from $7-$12). This motivated me to start making my own, and now I can make a large batch for half the price.
Here’s my recipe; I hope you enjoy it! We love eating this on croissants or grain bread, but it is also fabulous with Wheat Thins Tuscan Bread Flatbreads crackers.