The one dish i get asked time and time to make is chicken salad.
I freaking love chicken salad.
I have made many variations over the years, but the top two requests are my classic and my curried chicken salads. They are two of the only recipes that i consistently make the same every time because i feel like i have finally perfected them.
No, don't bother asking for the recipes cause i can't tell you.
Not because i am mean and don't want you to have my awesome recipes, but because there is really no way to explain them. The spices in the classic are measured by smell. The spices in the curried are measured by color. Sorry.
But i can share this fusion of two standard chicken salad variations: curried and fruited.
I had some leftover rotisserie chicken in the fridge and wanted to make chicken salad, but didn't have any celery. I figured that i would just curry it up and that would have to do; i cut up the chicken, adding dehydrated onion, curry powder and mayo.
Seemed kinda texturally bland. I've had various chicken salads with grapes added and thought that maybe i could add some of the cherries i had in the fridge.
Nah... that sounds gross.
But raisins are kinda grapes and craisins are kinda like raisins so i threw in a handful of dried cranberries.
Many of those fruity chicken salads have pecan or walnuts in them so i added what i had in my pantry - sunflower seeds.
The color was amazing, the texture was certainly not bland and it tasted yummy.
So yummy that i was inspired to actually pack a well-rounded lunch for myself instead of just throwing some stuff in a bag.
i prefer it with crackers instead of in a sandwich; triscuits would have been better but i went with what i had), carrots with ranch, vanilla pudding with cinnamon rounds and fresh cherries, nectar of the gods (diet coke, of course) and a wee box of Hello Kitty Jelly Bellies that a co-worker left on my desk cause she loves it when i squeal with delight.
It's fun to play with dishes that you love.
It never hurts to try new things because you can always retreat to the old if it doesn't work out.