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Slow-Cooker Curried Chicken Salad

Both curry powder and crisp apples are classic partners for chicken, and here they are combined in a fresh, light salad tossed with a creamy dressing, perfect for a light supper or lunch. If you like, you can use purchased candied pecans in place of the toasted pecans.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb. skinless, bone-in chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
  • Salt, to taste, plus 1/2 tsp.  
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. curry powder
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 6 Tbs. mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbs. sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 2 tart green apples, peeled, cored and finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 head butter lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup pecan pieces, toasted
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

Pat the chicken thighs dry. Season lightly all over with salt and pepper. In a large, heavy fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Working in batches to avoid crowding, add the chicken and sear, turning as needed, until golden brown, about 8 minutes total. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

Add the onion to the fry pan and sauté over medium-high heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder, stir to make a paste and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Pour in the wine and vinegar and stir to scrape up the browned bits from the pan bottom. Stir in the stock, the 1/2 tsp. salt and a few grinds of pepper. Transfer the contents of the pan to a slow cooker and stack the chicken on top. Cover and cook on low according to the manufacturer’s instructions until the chicken is very tender, about 5 hours.

Transfer the chicken to a plate. Discard the braising liquid. Remove the meat from the bones and discard the bones. Chop or shred the chicken.

In a bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and sour cream. Fold in the chicken, apples and celery. Season with salt and pepper.

Make a bed of lettuce on each plate. Mound the chicken salad on the lettuce, scatter the pecans over the top, and garnish with the green onions and parsley. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma The New Slow Cooker, by Brigit Binns (Weldon Owen, 2010).