Curry Chicken Salad with Trader Joe’s Chicken Strips

When I lived in New York City, a new Trader Joe’s opened down the block from my apartment, and it was probably one of the best things that could have happened to me.  For months my roommate and I tracked the construction progress as we counted down the days until it opened.  What suburbanites might not understand, is exactly what this means for the urban neighborhood.  Let me explain (briefly).

One of the many Trader Joe's progress photos I took from my cell phone

New York City doesn’t have large supermarkets like Safeway, Stop and Shop, etc.  Whole Foods is actually one of the largest stores in the city (if not the largest).  While many folks like to cutely call it “Whole Paycheck,” their prices are actually kind of on-par with many of the other city grocery stores (and no, that’s not because NYC Whole Foods are somehow cheaper). And the prices aren’t the only issue.  Depending on where you live, you’re lucky if you have a food store nearby.  Before you call me lazy for not wanting to walk ten blocks with groceries, think about doing so with a gallon of milk or ice cream on a 95 degree summer day.

Needless to say, a Trader Joe’s opening down the block was a BIG deal.

Since moving to California, my trips to good old TJ’s have become less frequent.  I have a lot more other options closer to my apartment that all have reasonable prices, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t enjoy a good Trader Joe’s spree, which is exactly what I had the other day. As always, I decided to try out something new, and purchased the curry chicken strips.  They seemed like a quick and easy dinner and I thought they’d be nice for a change.  Wrong.

Per the directions, we sautéed them in a bit of olive oil.  As it turned out, the curry flavor was so overpowering I could only eat one or two, and that’s because I was really hungry.  While we were pretty disappointed, I still couldn’t bring myself to throw away the leftovers, so I did my favorite thing to do with leftovers.  Chicken salad!  While it might not be my finest culinary creation, I thought I’d share in case anyone else is in the same predicament.

Ingredients: 

2-3 fully cooked, large pieces of Trader Joe’s Curry Chicken Strips (they’re really more like big chunks than strips)

1/3 cup of mayonnaise (you need a lot to cut down the curry flavor)

1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes

1-2 tablespoons raisins (I used dried cranberries because that’s what I had on hand but I think raisins would be better)

All you have to do is chop up the chicken, add the remaining ingredients and stir.  Whatever you do, do not add salt!  The chicken is already quite salty and while the salad was a great save (and actually pretty delicious) it’s a bit on the salty side.

Anyone else find a good save for a kitchen mishap?  Let me know!

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