Having a dressed-up chicken salad in your repertoire of dishes can come in handy for a nice lunch or a light summer supper.
With the addition of seasonal fruit such as peaches, it becomes even more appealing.
This recipe, adapted from the new "French Classics Made Easy" cookbook by Richard Crausman (Workman Publishing, $16.95), fits the bill. It also includes another one of our favorite fruits, avocado, and is flavored with a curry-lime dressing.
Serves 6 or 8
3 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, poached, chilled and diced
1 avocado, diced
2 white or yellow peaches, peeled and diced
Juice of 1 lime
2 celery ribs, chopped
3 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
3/4 to 1 cup mayonnaise, to taste
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Pinch of curry powder
1 head lettuce, separated into leaves
Tomato wedges or cherry tomatoes, for garnish
In a large bowl, toss the chicken, avocado and peaches with half of the lime juice. Add the celery, scallions and hard-cooked eggs.
Flavor the mayonnaise with the salt, pepper, curry powder and remaining lime juice.
Gently toss the chicken mixture with the flavored mayonnaise and refrigerate. (The recipe can be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead.)
Serve the salad on a bed of lettuce leaves, garnished with tomato wedges or cherry tomatoes.
Variations: Substitute 1 mango for the peaches; substitute 2 pounds cooked shrimp or crab for the chicken; or, using mango, increase the curry powder to 1 to 2 teaspoons and add 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger.
Teresa Taylor is the food editor. Reach her at 937-4886.