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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chutney Chicken Salad & Chardonnay - YAY!

Well, the streak continues with another fabulous recipe that had us going back for more (and more and more). The dish is Chutney Chicken Salad (pg. 130 ) and, let me tell you, this is not your mother’s chicken salad. It is a mouth-watering combination of chicken breast, curry powder, mango chutney, fresh lime juice, raisins, celery and almonds. It has terrific texture and fantastic flavor!
Cooking the chicken breasts adds a little bit of cook time to this dish but it is definitely worth it. The mango chutney was a nice surprise – I had never had it before and it turned out to be delicious. A quick shopping tip though, the chutney isn’t located on the jelly/jam aisle, it’s on the mayonnaise/salad dressing aisle – who knew? I also used golden raisins, my favorite, instead of the brown ones. They just look prettier against the beautiful, yellowy golden curried salad. It really is true, you do eat with your eyes first. I even converted a non-raisin eater once with the goldens’ magic raisin powers – could you be next?
Once you cook, cool and chop the chicken, the rest of the recipe is a snap. Place all the ingredients except the chicken, scallions and celery in a large bowl and mix well. Then, add the remaining three, mix again and you’re done! I served it on a bed of mixed greens and it was just delicious. This dish would be perfect for a Ladies lunch or a weeknight meal and, let me tell you, you WILL be going back for seconds…possibly thirds.
Below the title of this recipe in “Savor the Moment” the caption reads, “As an alternative (to greens), serve on French bread and enjoy with a glass of Chardonnay.” You don’t have to ask me twice! Tonight I selected the 2005 Martin Ray Russian River Chardonnay. The Russian River Valley is located in Sonoma County and is well know for producing beautiful, crisp, cool-climate Chardonnays. This wine is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes and had lush aromas of peach, apple and vanilla. It had a yummy, creamy mouthfeel with flavors of vanilla, honey, ripe peach and some nice toasty oak – it went perfectly with the Chutney Chicken Salad! Because I liked the wine so much, I was glad to discover Martin Ray is known for providing high quality wines at affordable prices.
I am also happy to report the wine for tonight’s dish was sponsored by Republic National Distributing Company. RNDC is a presenting sponsor for the annual "Boca Bacchanal," a fabulous, weekend-long celebration of food and wine featuring some of world’s most renowned Chefs and Vintners. The event benefits the Boca Raton Historical Society Heritage Education Program. Last February Steve and I hosted a Vintner dinner featuring the Chefs of Nantucket’s Straight Wharf Restaurant paired with the wines of Cakebread Cellars. It was such an amazing evening! If you are a fan of food and/or wine I highly recommend attending one or all of the events planned for 2010. Mark your calendars for the 8th Annual Boca Bacchanal Winefest & Auction 2010 which will take place March 19-21. A pre-event party entitled Bacchus Beckon will be held Thursday, November 19th at the Boca Raton Historical Society from 5:30-7:30pm. Come sip, savor and toast the upcoming 8th annual Boca Bacchanal. Tickets are available at Hope to see you there!

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