Curried Chicken and Fruit Salad

A lot of people tell me that they don't like curry.  I always say to them, "sure you do you just don't know it".
Don't immediately judge this recipe and not make it because there is has curry.  There are so many different curries in the world and ways to make curry one of them is bound to please you.  

I may have mentioned that my parents live with me in a separate apartment attached to our home.  I took a plate full to my mother and asked her to try it.  Her first response was, "I don't like curry much".  My response, "yes you do".  She took a few bites and seemed surprised when she said that it was delicious and decided to keep a bowl full.

This simply chicken salad recipe is kick up with curry powder.  The flavors will just blow you away.

For the salad you will need:

6 bone-in and skin on chicken breasts
olive oil
kosher salt and ground pepper
1 cups chopped celery
1/2 lb red grapes
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup green onions, white and green parts
1 cup roasted and salted Cashews or Pistachio nuts or both

For the dressing you will need:

2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup apricot jam or mango chutney
2-3 tablespoons curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper

Ina Garten says (and I believe whatever Ina says) that the most moist chicken for a chicken salad begins with baking chicken breasts that have the bone and skin.  Drizzle the breasts with olive oil.

Rub the oil around.

Sprinkle with kosher salt

and ground pepper.

Place them in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for about 40-45 minutes or until the juices run clear when pierced with a fork.

Remove the chicken from the oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes.
Letting the chicken rest a bit will help the meat retain all those wonderful juices.

When cool, remove the skin from the breasts.

Take the meat off the bones.

Cut the chicken in to large bite size pieces.  


DO NOT shred the chicken.  Oh, heaven forbid.

I don't want my chicken salad to resemble tuna salad.  You know that chicken salad stuff that people put inside the Costco croissants?  Oh man I cannot even begin to tell you how much I hate that stuff.

I'll stop now, because I'm sure I have already offended someone.

Put the chopped chicken in a bowl.  At this point you can cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate, if you would like to make this ahead of time.

Chop the celery by slicing the stalk into strips.

Then cut across the strips to create a dice.

Add the diced celery to the chicken.

Slice about 1 bunch of green onions.  

I use the white part and half way up the green.

Add to the bowl of chicken.

I like to cut the grapes in half length wise.  You can cut them anyway you want, I promise not to get on a soap box about the grapes.

1/2 pound sliced should equal a heaping cup full.  You can add more or less you choose.

Add the sliced grapes to the salad.

Add the dried cranberries.  Set aside while making the dressing.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, apricot jam,

Rice wine vinegar,



white pepper and

curry powder.

A word on curry powder.  There are different types of curry powder blends.  Some are mild and some are down right spicy (my fav).  You choose your favorite.  You might want to start with just 1-2 tablespoons of curry if you're a bit scared of the flavor, which is great.

I used the family favorite curry powder (way hot) once for this chicken salad that I was taking to a Relief Society social.  Whoops.  I guess some sisters just about  died because of the heat level.  It tasted fine to me.  Next time I'll remember the sweet curry powder that I have.  Who knew?

Now whisk all the ingredients together.

Whisk until very smooth.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the sauce to use later.  Sometimes the salad seems to absorb the sauce and you just might want to moisten it up a bit before serving, if you are making the salad in advance.

Pour remaining dressing over the chicken and fruit mixture.

Stir all the ingredients together.

Right before serving, stir in the cashew and pistachio nuts.  Stir to combine.

This is so colorful. Just that bit of curry really brightens up the appearance and flavor of an ordinary chicken salad.  I made this for the husband that sometimes reads this blog.  He just hates anything with mayo, so I hesitantly had him take a "courtesy bite".  He said, "that's not too bad.  Why don't you heat me up some".

I told him that this isn't a dish that you "re-heat".  Geeeez!  I'm still trying to raise him.

Curried Chicken and Fruit Salad

6 bone-in chicken breasts
olive oil
Kosher salt and ground pepper

1 cup  celery, cut into small pieces
1/2 lb red grapes, cut in half (heaping cup)
1/2 cups dried cranberries
1/2 cup green onions, white and green parts
1 cup roasted, salted cashews or pistachio nuts OR both

2  cups Mayonnaise
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup apricot jam or mango chutney
2-3 tablespoons curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper

Chicken:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub the skin with olive oil Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.  Roast for 40-45 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked.  Set aside until cool enough to handle.  Remove the meat from the bones, discard the skin and dice the chicken into large bite-size pieces.

Salad:  Mix all ingredients together in a salad bowl.  Toss well.

Dressing:  In a medium bowl, whisk all dressing ingredients.  Toss into salad.  Mix well.


  1. This is certainly something I can see myself making! Thank you for the wonderful photos and step by step instructions. Makes it much easier to see that I can do it!

  2. Looks like something right up my alley, Janet. Would you mind sharing the brand of your favorite hot curry powder? Thanks!

    1. I bought my hot curry from San Francisco Herb co. Penzey's has a great curry called Maharajah that has a great kick. Madras is great for a mellow curry. Hope this helps.

  3. I can't wait to make this. Its only me and my husband so I will try to cut the recipe in half. Beautiful pictures!

    1. I hope you love it. It does make a ton. Thanks for commenting.