A Sarcastic Appetite

Chicken Salad with Grapes, Apples & Spicy Pecans
July 25, 2010, 3:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Surprise! It’s still hotter than a bunch of habaneros around here, which means someone, shockingly, is still a little cranky. Luckily our air conditioner is back in working order (after two dicey days), and today’s forecasted high of 89° sounds practically windswept compared to yesterday’s 100°, which mostly just forced me inside to drink. What does this mean for you? Well, today I was finally able to turn the oven on in what seems like ages to make this chicken salad with spicy pecans.

Despite my laziness and lack of ingredients, it was still pretty delicious. And with the air conditioner on full blast here, I could at least pretend to be chilly while doing it.

The recipe comes adapted from Sara Foster’s Fresh Every Day, and the changes I made were merely out of the “I don’t have this and am too lazy to go out again” school of thought, as opposed to the “As a seasoned cook, I believe these flavors will best complement one another” approach.

The spicy pecans are pretty assertive on their own, but their spice gets a little lost in the shuffle once the whole salad comes together. So if you want a real kick, don’t be afraid of upping the cayenne a bit. Add a diced rib or two of celery if you have it, and a few tablespoons of mango chutney (as the original recipe calls for).

I suppose I’ll have to make this again when I actually have all the ingredients, but the stripped down version was delicious too – especially on pumpernickel with some baby arugula and a little smear of mustard. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go eat the rest of those pecans.

Chicken Salad with Grapes, Apples & Spicy Pecans

Serves 3. Adapted from Sara Foster’s Fresh Every Day

2 cooked chicken breast halves, diced

3 scallions, chopped finely

1 tart green apple, cored and chopped (peeled if desired)

juice of half a lemon

1 c. red seedless grapes, halved

2 tbsp. dijon mustard

2 tbsp. mango chutney (optional)

a scant 1/2 c. mayonnaise

1 c. Spicy Pecans (recipe follows)

lots of salt and freshly ground pepper

a handful each of basil and mint, slivered

Toss the chicken, scallions, and apple in a large bowl; drizzle the lemon juice over the apple chunks so they don’t brown. Add the grapes, mustard, mayo, mango chutney if you have it, and pecans, and toss to combine. Add lots of salt and freshly ground pepper; taste and correct the seasoning. Just before serving, sliver the basil and mint and toss to combine. Serve over baby arugula, or on dark bread with lettuce and more mustard.

Spicy Pecans

Makes 2 cups. You only need 1 cup for the salad, but you’ll eat the leftovers, don’t worry.

2 c. halved pecans

3 tbsp. vanilla extract

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 350º. In a medium-sized bowl, toss the pecans with the vanilla extract and olive oil. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining spices, then pour over the pecans and toss again to combine evenly. Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet, in one layer, and bake about 15 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes or so to keep them from burning. Allow to cool completely before storing or using – otherwise the pecans get soft.

Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: