This month I am taking a break from my usual column and instead we are delighted to feature a story and recipe from one of our readers, Jessica Dean Schiffer. We love hearing from our readers, and if you have a story and recipe to share with us, please send it to email@example.com and you may see it in a future issue of WestView News!
Pandemic Curried Chicken Salad
By Jessica Dean Schiffer
In the early days of COVID-19, my husband and I hunkered down in the West Village, ready to wait out whatever was to come as we watched the exodus of our friends and family members. We stockpiled canned tuna and chicken, not knowing what the future held. In March 2020, we vividly recalled a woman in D’Agostino looking at the bare shelves, asking an overworked employee, “will there be more food?” These canned goods purchased early on became a staple to hold us through and help us avoid unnecessary grocery store trips. With minimal physical activity, we sought out healthy recipes, but also comfort food.
Years ago when I was a babysitter for Extra Virgin restaurant owner and chef, Joey Fortunato’s son, I remembered that they always had a delicious curried tuna salad in the fridge, available as a late night snack. Inspired by this, I created my own curried chicken salad based loosely on their recipe. This new recipe became a catalyst for a cookbook that I began to write in my many empty hours at home. I combed through old family recipes and wrote down the ones that I have created over my lifetime and had kept in my head. I hoped by the time my recipe book was finished, COVID-19 would be long over and this cookbook would be a nostalgic reminder of the one time in my life where the world, and for the first time, New York City, moved slowly.
Even as COVID-19 and its variants remain, the frenetic pace of New York City has returned, and I was also forced to return—to the frenetic pace of the office. To cope with this difficult task, I started to bring this work-from-home staple with me, reminding me of a slower time, a calm amidst the storm.
Pandemic Curried Chicken Salad (serves 2)
- 1 5 oz can chicken breast in water drained or shredded cooked large chicken breast
- ¼ cup light mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/3 golden delicious or honey crisp apple finely diced (approximately 1/3 cup)
- 1/3 cup diced bread and butter pickles, same size as apples
- 1 teaspoon fresh minced dill
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
- garlic salt to taste
Combine mayonnaise and curry powder in a medium bowl. Add in chicken and mix. Add in apple and pickles. Add in dill and scallions. Sprinkle it with garlic salt to taste. Enjoy on its own or with your favorite crackers. Double the recipe and you’ll have lunch for the whole week!