The ground and trees are still brown in my part of the country, but the days are getting longer and colorful fruits like blood oranges and pineapple bring a little brightness to all the dreariness.
Although it’s hardly picnic season, I found myself recently browsing through the 1963 Better Homes and Gardens Barbecues and Picnics cookbook. The Hawaiian Chicken Salad recipe caught my eye. Artfully displayed on a pineapple slice and decorated with hibiscus flowers, this recipe screams 1960s party.
The recipe incorporates oranges and pineapple, which I’ve been gobbling up a lot lately. Perfectly in season and affordable, citrus and pineapple bring so much flavor to recipes that might be a little dull otherwise. They also help me make some healthy swaps. With all the flavor coming from the fruit, I knew the recipe could be lightened up, and I swapped Greek yogurt for the mayonnaise.
My grandmother made a curried chicken salad that I thought was super fancy when I was a kid. I omitted the marjoram and added just 1/2 a teaspoon of a mild curry powder to give the dressing just a touch of heat. I also swapped toasted pecans for the almonds, and left out the celery. Personally, I think raw celery ruins a perfectly good sandwich, but that may just be me.
3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
1 cup pineapple, cut into bite-sized chunks
2 oranges (I used one blood orange and one naval orange)
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon curry
Salt to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)
- In a large bowl combined the cooked chicken breast and toasted pecans.
- In a separate bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, curry powder, and salt. Wisk together. Taste and adjust salt if needed.
- Add the dressing to the chicken and pecans and mix together.
- Add the oranges and pineapple and carefully fold together.
- Serve on a pineapple wedge or pineapple boat.
Cheers to the fruits of winter!