Tasty Tuesday: Curried Rice Salad with crab and chicken (when it’s tooooooo hot to cook!)

The last week has been unpleasantly warm and muggy. I’m often reminded by my friends and family who live in even WARMER climates that it could be worse. They’re absolutely right of course. My house, however, has no air conditioning and this week, it’s simply too warm to think about cooking!

All week long, I’ve been working on the idea of low-heat salads. Today’s salad is one that requires rice (cooked last night after things cooled down) and chicken that was grilled outside. The salad is served cold and is exactly right for a hot, muggy summer evening.

Curried  Chicken and Crab Rice Salad

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 2 T. curry powder (you may want to start with 1T. and do it to taste)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 3 grilled chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1/2 pound crab meat
  • 4 shallots chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped (I used 3 stalks)
  • 2 apples chopped
  • 3/4 c. roasted, shelled sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 c. raisins
  • 1/4 c. dried cranberries)
  • 1/4 c. fruit chutney (I didn’t have chutney…and don’t even really know what fruit chutney IS, so I used to pineapple jam)
  • 1/2 c. chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 t. each)

Start by steaming the rice the evening before you make this salad for dinner.  Refrigerate the rice for using the next day. Chop the rest of the ingredients. Whisk together the oil, vinegar, curry powder, salt, pepper, and chutney or jam. Thoroughly mix the rice, other ingredients, and dressing.

I confess that I gt pretty creative on this one in terms of substitutions, but my family loves the result. One of our themes over on My Sisters Kitchen is using what you have. This recipe is one in which there is great scope of creative “making do” with what you have on hand. For example, do you have leftover roast chicken? A large can of albacore tuna? Leftover jasmine rice? Scallops but no crab? Parsley instead of cilantro? It all works.

This dish can easily morph into a vegetarian dish by leaving out the meat. Adding some chickpeas or other beans or tofu will increase the protein load. Lately, I’ve been adding chickpeas to all kinds of dishes; they’re our new favorite.

The right curry powder or paste is a key ingredient. It really is an individual preference thing, so make sure you use the curries that are your personal favorites. I usually brown the curry spices in a dry skillet just a little to bring out flavor.

Barb Kelley from My Sister’s Kitchen

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  1. Mmmm, this looks really good, Barb! I have never actually cooked with curry, I’ll have to try it!