Curried Chicken Salad on Pumpernickel
Perfectly sweet and savory, this moist sandwich is delectable — and just as suitable for a business luncheon as it would be for a bridal shower. Next time you’re the host, this is an easy make-ahead choice. And it is as attractive as it is delicious.
- 2 1/4 Pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 1/2 Cups chicken stock, or packaged low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 Cup dry white wine
- 5 sprigs cilantro, plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped
- 1/4 Cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 Teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon salt, plus more for seasonings
- 4 green onions, 2 smashed and 2 finely chopped
- 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
- 1 Cup mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon curry powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 Cup golden raisins
- 2 Tablespoons dried currants
- 16 slices dark pumpernickel bread
- 1 Cup chutney, or to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning
- 3 Ounces baby spinach leaves
Combine the chicken, stock, wine, cilantro sprigs, 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, garlic, peppercorns, 1 teaspoon salt, and smashed green onions in a medium saucepan, and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to a bare simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the chicken to cool in the poaching liquid for 45 minutes. Then remove the chicken from the liquid and set it aside until completely cool. Strain the poaching liquid and reserve it for another purpose if desired. Discard the solids.
Cut the chicken into a small dice. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, chopped cilantro, remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, remaining teaspoon salt, chopped green onions, celery, mayonnaise, curry powder, cayenne, golden raisins, and currants, and stir to blend well. Taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Chill the chicken salad, covered, for at least 2 hours and up to several days in advance.
To assemble the sandwich: Spread one side of each piece of bread with about 1 tablespoon of the chutney. Place a scoop of the chicken salad onto each of 8 slices. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Divide the spinach among the sandwiches, and top with the remaining 8 slices of bread. Halve the sandwiches and serve immediately, or wrap them in plastic wrap and store them up to overnight, refrigerated, until ready to serve.