Food + Wine

Curried Chicken Salad Wraps

When my husband and I lived in LA, there was this macrobiotic restaurant around the corner called M Cafe that served these Madras Tempeh Salad Wraps.  They were incredible.  Neither one of us followed a macrobiotic diet, nor were we vegan, but this was one of the best wraps I’ve ever had in my entire life.  It’s been years since we’ve had one, and the other day we both found ourselves craving them.  So I set out to make a curried chicken salad wrap that I could call my own, but that would make us think of our LA days.

Lots of things were amazing about living in Los Angeles.  The biggest thing being the food.  You could get any kind of food you wanted, and the best part was… usually they would deliver.  Yeah… we got pretty spoiled in the food department from living there, and it was a huge adjustment coming back home to North Carolina.  But once I realized I was actually capable of mimicking a lot of the foods we had grown to love so much out there, on our new North Carolina budget, we didn’t really miss it anymore.

And that’s why I started this blog.

I feel like food is one of those things that really allows us to go back to special memories, or travel to places we’ve never been… you can really be transported to another place and time through your tastebuds.  And that’s just plain awesome.

I’d never trade our experience living in California.  We were young, newly married, career hungry, and really just in need of some fun living.  And making these wraps definitely reminded me of those days.  But after I made them, and we got to taste my version of this old food memory, we began a new one.  My version, that we ate on a blanket in our sweet, small town, under the hot summer sun, listening to a live band play bluegrass while our children climbed the magnolia tree behind us, officially trumps the old one.

What a lovely new memory we now have.

And one hell of a damn good sandwich.

curried chicken salad wraps  

makes 4 large wraps

c u r r y   d r e s s i n g 

In a large bowl, combine the following… (this can be done in advance)

2 TB mayonnaise

1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used fat free and really enjoy the tang it brings to the dressing)

1 TB dijon mustard

2 TB honey

3 tsp yellow curry powder (I have my own recipe HERE)

1 lime, zested

1/2 lime, juiced

fat pinch kosher salt

c u r r i e d   c h i c k e n   s a l a d

To the bowl, add the following ingredients…

1 whole chicken breast, cooked and shredded (I used a store-bought rotisserie chicken because I had one, and they’re generally smaller than if you were to buy the boneless skinless breasts at the grocery store.  It was roughly 2 cups of cooked, shredded chicken)

1/2 small apple, diced

1 small celery stalk, from the heart-including leaves

1/4 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup roasted, lightly salted cashews, chopped

Stir to coat everything in the dressing.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Other wrap components include…

1 large onion, caramelized (thinly slice and cook on medium heat with salt and a pinch of sugar until they become golden brown and soft- cool before using)

1 carrot, thinly sliced into matchsticks

1/4 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 cup cooked farro (or brown rice, barley, any grain of that nature would work)

4 small lettuce leaves– romaine, iceburg, butter… any sturdy lettuce works just fine

fresh cilantro

4 burrito sized whole grain tortillas/wraps

Build your wraps by first moistening your tortillas with a little water on both sides to make them extra pliable…

Spoon 1/4 of the chicken salad onto the bottom 1/3 of your wrap

Sprinkle on 1/4 of the farro

Top with lettuce leaves

Then a layer of 1/4 of the onions

Create a carrot row along the side (1/4 of them)

Topped with a pepper row (1/4)

Then place cilantro leaves over everything

Roll as you would a burrito…tucking in the sides as you go.

Slice in half and enjoy.

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