#SamLikesItHot: Chicken salad in pita pockets

Sam Oh
For this recipe, there is no cooking necessary

EASY, BREEZY. This recipe is easy, no mess, and addictive. You were warned! Photo by Sam Oh

MANILA, Philippines – Kids, this is not your mother’s chicken salad.

Unless your mother’s chicken salad is fruity, nutty, crunchy, and curry.

Wait, curry isn’t an adjective. It’s a noun that really just means “sauce.” But I digress.

This curried chicken salad recipe is one of my favorite online finds. It’s also very close to my heart because it is one of the first things I made when I started cooking.

It’s a very simple recipe (no real cooking involved here!) with loads of flavor. Even my friend Gibb loves this dish and she is notorious for having an unsophisticated palate that insists only on bacon and pork chops!

Whether you’re looking to bring something to a summer barbecue or have something yummy and fresh at home, this is sure to please. 

To make curried chicken salad, you’ll need:

  • 4 skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 chicken broth cube (optional)
  • 1 apple
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 cup seedless grapes
  • ½ cup dried cranberries 
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • ¾ cup light mayonnaise
  • ¾ t curry powder
  • 4 whole wheat pita pockets cut in half

This recipe makes about 8 servings but you probably won’t have any trouble working through the entire bowl yourself.

1. We start by cooking the chicken breast halves. A foolproof way to do that is to put them in a medium pot with enough water to submerge them.

Add in a chicken broth cube and bring it all to a boil. Once it starts to boil, take the pot off the stove and let it sit for 15 minutes.

This method yields perfectly cooked chicken breasts for me every single time. The chicken broth cube is optional but I do like the way it subtly seasons the chicken.

Photo by Sam Oh

2. While waiting for the chicken to finish cooking, toast the walnuts. Toasting the walnuts isn’t necessary but they become so much more flavorful this way. The smoky toastiness is a very nice addition, too.

Simply drop the nuts into a dry pan or pop them in the oven, even a toaster oven, until they become fragrant.

Just make sure to keep an eye on them because they go from done to burnt very quickly. Set aside. 

Photo by Sam Oh

3. With the chicken and walnuts ready to go, everything can now be added to a big bowl.

Chop the chicken, celery, and apple. The larger grapes can be halved and the walnuts crumbled. Don’t forget the dried cranberries! You can sub with raisins, too.

Photo by Sam Oh

4. To make the dressing, all you need to do is mix the mayonnaise and curry powder in a small bowl. So simple!

Photo by Sam Oh

5. Add the curry dressing into the big bowl and mix well.

Photo by Sam Oh

That’s all there is to it, really! Well, if you can wait a day, that is.

It’s just that this is one of those dishes that taste better the longer it sits. It’s good to go but if you give everything some time to marry in the bowl, the flavors are off the roof!

If a day is too long, give it at a few hours in the fridge. It has to be chilled anyway. 

The best way to eat this salad in my opinion is in a pita pocket. Aren’t pita pockets just genius? I adore them, I wanna live in one! I love how it can turn anything into a neat little parcel with no mess, no fuss. 

To serve, heat the pita pocket on a dry pan just enough to warm through. It’ll be a nice contrast with the chilled chicken salad. Just make sure not to heat them to the point of being toasty — they turn brittle and break. When done, cut it in half (I just use a pair of scissors) and stuff with your curried chicken salad.

Photo by Sam Oh

I’m pretty sure this is the yummiest thing that ever landed in a pita pocket. Excuse me while I go make myself another serving. –

Check out our other recipes:

Sam Oh

Sam Oh is a professional TV and events host, radio jock, and foodie wannabe. Catch her on radio at 99.5 PlayFM, Monday to Friday, 6am-10am in “The Playground” with Tim Yap and Nikko. She is also a food blogger at Sam Likes It Hot. If you have questions or recipe requests, email with subject heading SAM LIKES IT HOT.

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