It’s the week after Easter (for Greeks, Easter is next weekend, so keep this recipe in mind for later) and spring is in full bloom! If you partook in the Easter-tradition of dyeing and decorating eggs, I bet you’re now stuck with a lot of leftover hard-boiled-and-slightly-overcooked eggs without a real purpose. I find that ‘hard-boiled’ is probably one of the worst ways to have an egg, so what to do with those dyed Easter eggs once the Easter bunny leaves?
Last year, I suggested you turn your leftover eggs into this egg salad with smoked salmon. Of course, they’re a great excuse to snack on some of these deviled eggs as well (instead of cat-eyes, pretend they’re dragon eyes so you can eat them while watching the final season of Game of Thrones). But perhaps you are a bit bored of these rather ordinary egg-dishes. If you are, I’ve got this eggcellent recipe for a slightly un-ordinary chicken-and-egg-salad. Everybody is familiar with the age-old question: “which came first: the chicken or the egg?” and this week we don’t really care about the answer to that question: we’ll take both!
This flavorful salad is creamy yet refreshing, since its made with succulent chicken breast, hard-boiled eggs, crème fraiche, fragrant aromatics such as ginger, curry powder, and turmeric, crunchy vegetables and *whispers* pineapple… Please, don’t click away! I’m not a monster, I promise.
I realize that adding pineapple to savory foods is a tad controversial nowadays. And yeah, I’m a bit afraid to admit that I do enjoy that most-hated pineapple pizza from time to time (is this the only food pineapple is absolutely hated on?). I suppose I can understand that the addition of pineapple might anger some of the pizza-purists out there (my understanding is limited, however), but trust me when I say that the slight sweetness and tanginess of fresh pineapple really is indispensable in this creamy chicken salad with its warming aromatics.
Anyway, I know I don’t have to convince all of you: despite the alleged controversy, I know there are some of you out there whom enjoy the combination of savory and sweet just as much as I do, whether it’s on a pizza, a cheese platter with chutney, or an old school meat stew with cherries, or prunes. Team pineapple, this chicken-and-egg-salad is for you! And yes, pineapple haters, you can leave it out… if you really have to.
Tip #1: In the post above I write about using leftover eggs, but this salad is obviously a great way to use up parts of leftover rotisserie chicken as well!
Tip #2:This salad is great served as canapes at a party. Scoop a heaped teaspoon of chicken and egg salad on some crackers, or sliced and toasted baguette and garnish with some fresh parsley.
Curry Chicken and Egg Salad Sandwiches
- For the chicken and egg salad:
- 400g chicken breast, skinless and boneless
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
- 200g piece fresh pineapple (weight with peel and core)
- ½ small red onion (about 50g)
- 1 small carrot (about 80g)
- 1 small red pepper (about 80g)
- Some sprigs of fresh flat leaf parsley
- 75g mayonnaise
- 100g crème fraiche
- 1 heaped teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Salt to taste
- For the sandwiches:
- 12 slices of bread, or 6 bagels
- 6 lettuce leaves, for serving (optional)
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 190°C. Peel and grate the carrot. Finely chop the small red onion, the red pepper and the parsley. Peel the pineapple, take out the core and chop into small pieces. Finally, de-shell the boiled eggs and roughly chop.
- Bake the chicken: Rub olive oil on the chicken breast and generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place chicken breast on a baking tray, or in an oven dish and place in the preheated oven. A 400g chicken breast should be fully cooked in about 30 minutes, but cooking time obviously depends on the thickness of the breast. Start checking your chicken for doneness after about 25 minutes every 5 minutes. To check if your chicken is done, use a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken: it should read somewhere between 72°C (Celsius) and 75°C. Don’t have a thermometer? Poke/cut the chicken in the thickest part of the meat all the way to the center with a sharp knife; the juices that come out should run clear and the meat should have turned opaque and white throughout the center. When your chicken is done, transfer to a plate to let it rest and cool for 5 minutes. Reserve the juices. When cool enough to handle, shred, or chop the chicken into little pieces.
- Prepare the ‘sauce’ for the salad: In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, crème fraiche, curry powder, ground turmeric and ground ginger.
- Assemble salad: Add the chopped cooled-down chicken, the juices of the chicken, the chopped eggs and the vegetables, chopped parsley and pineapple to the bowl with the sauce. Stir to combine well. Taste the salad and add more salt and pepper according to taste.
- To serve as sandwiches: Lightly toast the sliced bread, or bagels (cut in half) in a toaster, or oven. Place lettuce leaves on the bottom half of the sandwiches. Generously spread on the chicken and egg salad.