Spicy chicken and cherry salad

Spicy Chicken and Cherry Salad © Sue Todd 2014

Spicy Chicken and Cherry Salad © Sue Todd 2014

I know summer is over along with the cherry season, but looking through a whole bunch of photos I came across some from the summer.  Not everyone likes sweet and savoury things together and while I detest sweet and sour recipes, I love fruit with other foods and cherries in particular.  I can sit and munch through a bag of cherries with some cheese and nuts and call it lunch quite happily.  This recipe is just wonderful summer food, for lazy hot days to eat in the garden, take on a picnic in a tiffin box or even to have at your desk if so inclined.

You can buy ready prepared korma curry paste, we always make our own simply because I’ve an allergy to cinnamon, and you can never be certain its not in there.  You can either use cold left over roast chicken for this, or cook some chicken pieces off especially.

Ingredients:

  •  600g cold cooked chicken,
  • 450g cherries,
  • mixed salad leaves,
  • 1 bunch of spring onions

Ingredients – Dressing:

  • 1 tbsp korma curry paste,
  • 1 tsp clear honey,
  • 1 tsp lemon juice,
  • 220g tub fromage frais,
  • mint leaves stripped from stalks

Method:

Make the dressing first.  Combine the curry paste, honey, lemon juice and fromage frais with a little bit of seasoning and the mint leaves in a food processor or blender and blitz until the dressing is smooth, but still has small flecks of mint rather than a complete puree.  You can make this in advance and store for up to two days if you want to.  Its much better left for at least a couple of hours to let the flavour develop.

Tear the chicken into bite sized pieces.  Then stone the cherries.  We have one of these little ‘cherry stoner’ tools, which is great except when you jam part of your hand in it and hurts like hell.  They can also splash – so take my advice and don’t wear a white shirt you really like to do this job!  Less mess and less pain can be achieved using a knife, but it may take longer.

Spread the mixed salad leaves over a platter (or plates or lunch boxes), scatter the chicken and the cherries on top.  Trim the spring onions and chop finely before scattering over the top of the chicken, cherries and salad leaves.

Then to serve, (but not before unless taking for lunch in a box – but even then its better in a separate container) drizzle the dressing over the salad.

Variations:

This also I now know, works wonderfully with salmon too!  That combination plus our recipe for korma curry paste will follow soon.

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