Curry Powder Is The Surefire Way To Heat Up Chicken Salad

Chicken salad and its sandwich variations might get overlooked for some of its easier competitors like tuna and egg salad, but bringing curry powder into the mix elevates an already great concept into something special. How good is it? Well, curry chicken salad was actually first called "Coronation Chicken," as it was created by chefs for the coronation ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II all the way back in 1953. That's right, this is royal stuff. The marriage of Eastern-inspired spices in curry powder and this Western recipe could be considered an early version of fusion cooking. But for a dish with such a fancy pedigree, it's also remarkably easy to make, especially with curry powder now widely available in stores across the country.

Your classic chicken salad is fatty, crunchy, and cool, but isn't the most robust option out there, being heavily dependent on mayo for its taste. Adding curry powder manages to hold on to everything that's great about the original, while adding tons of complexity and depth that make for a much more flavorful experience. Warm, pungent spices balance out the richness of the dish, while the fat from the mayo helps bring out a stronger taste from spice mix. It's not hot spicy, but it adds an earthy, savory flavor almost completely missing from the standard version.

Curry chicken salad is flavorful and versatile

One great thing about curry chicken salad is that it makes the dish more satisfying as a stand-alone meal — and even better as a sandwich or side. Adding that kick of curry powder makes every bite more interesting and means it can complement even more meals. If you have curry powder stocked in your pantry, you probably also have everything else you need. Popping a few tablespoons into your favorite chicken salad recipe is all it takes yet is totally transformational. You can also easily pick up or drop the amount of spice you are using to your taste with no other adjustments needed.

Curry chicken's profile also works well with plenty of extra additions for more personalization. We like to use fresh grapes for sweetness and a bit of crunch, but lots of dried fruits like cranberries, raisins, or cherries are also great. Adding more cayenne or some hot sauce can bring a heat that pairs naturally with the other spices. You can customize your own curry powder blend, too. Easy to make, easy to change, and packed with flavor, curry chicken salad is as good as it gets.