Curried Chicken Salad + Modern Masala Giveaway (sponsored by McCormick)


When I think about my favorite foods, most of them are boldly spiced – Thai, Indian, and Mexican definitely hold a top spot on my list. Oddly, I wasn’t raised eating exotically spiced cuisine. In fact, quite the opposite. We didn’t have a whole lot of dining options in my small Kentucky town, and my mom isn’t a fan of anything spicy, so I wasn’t really exposed to it until adulthood.

Now don’t get me wrong, I also love the Southern staples of my birth, and they bring me comfort in a way that nothing else ever will. But, as I’ve grown older, I’ve found that adding *a dash of this and a dash of that* to some tried and true recipes can really make them come alive and cause me to crave them on a regular basis. Take for instance that Slow Cooker Roasted Chicken I discovered a while back. The Garam Masala gives it a mind-blowingly delicious flavor, so much so that I’ve made it at least once every two weeks for almost four months now!

I’m so addicted to it, that when I got an email from McCormick saying that they were celebrating Indian flavors in April and May, and specifically called out Garam Masala, my interest was immediately piqued.

Each year, they come out with a “Flavor Forecast” which celebrates food and flavors on the horizon. McCormick’s Flavor Forecast 2014 report offers a look at the mouthwatering tastes and trends that will be connecting people and cultures around the world and driving culinary innovation in years to come. One of this year’s trends is Modern Masala: Going beyond basic curries, people are exploring the vibrant flavors of richly spiced Indian cuisine in new, modern contexts.



Which is what brings us here today. They offered to send me a collection of Indian spice blends from their Gourmet Collection, consisting of Garam Masala, Hot Madras Curry Powder, Red Curry Powder and regular Curry Powder so I could experiment in my kitchen and come up with a little something of my own. I brainstormed for several days and had all sorts of cooked dishes swirling in my head, but after a busy weekend chasing my toddler around, cooking was the last thing I felt like doing. I was standing at my open refrigerator door, just about to take a few bites of some cold, leftover Garam Masala Slow Cooker chicken (yes, I love it even cold and leftover), when inspiration hit.

I hadn’t had chicken salad in a longgggg time. Too long. While I’m not a big fan of regular chicken salad, a couple of years ago, I discovered a curry chicken salad from a vendor at the farmers’ market and fell in love. Back then I was buying it on pretty much every Saturday visit to the market. Last year I started going to a different market though, and alas, there is no chicken salad vendor at the new one.

So, that was my bright idea! Why not try my hand at making my own curry chicken salad?  I could use the leftover chicken, my new McCormick spices, and a handful of other ingredients I just happened to have on hand. Brilliant. I’m being practical, not heating up the house when it’s 80 degrees outside, conserving my own energy (which I have very little of these days) with the minimal prep work required, and I’ve now got a nice little snack that I can eat on the run. Happiness!



Curried Chicken Salad

Serves 2-4


2 cups cubed or shredded chicken

1 stalk celery, chopped (approx 1/3 cup)

1/4 cup dried currants*

1/2 large red apple, chopped small

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 Tbsp McCormick Curry Powder

1/4 tsp McCormick Garam Masala

1/4 tsp McCormick cayenne pepper

1/3 cup chopped, toasted pecans


In a large bowl, stir together mayonnaise, curry powder, garam masala, and cayenne pepper until well blended.

Fold in the chicken, celery, dried currants, and apple to the dressing. Refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld. Add the toasted pecans and serve at room temperature.

*you can use any type of dried fruit


In 2014, McCormick marks its 125th anniversary by celebrating the role flavor plays in all of our lives, inspiring flavorful conversation, and giving back to communities around the world. You can read more about the Flavor of Together program and hear flavor stories on their website.

To inspire you to share your own flavor story, McCormick has offered up one of their awesome anniversary packs to one of my readers! The pack includes a McCormick recipe book, a branded canvas tote, and a collection of Indian Spice blends– all valued at $50.

What does flavor mean to you? How have certain flavors shaped your life? What dishes do you remember from your childhood?  When you experience a certain cuisine, does it bring back fond memories? Each of us has our own flavor story!

~ Contest Closed ~

And the winner is…..

#7 Manda

All you have to do to enter is this:


1.  Share your own unique flavor story by commenting on this post using the hashtag #flavorstory. It’s that simple!


For up to 2 additional entries, you can do either or both of the following. Note: You must leave a separate comment for each optional entry.

2.  Follow me on Twitter (@betheats) and tweet “I’m sharing my #flavorstory with @betheats and hoping to win an awesome McCormick prize pack! Won’t you?” then leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.

3.  Follow me on Instagram (betheats) and upload a photo of any of your favorite dishes with the hashtag #flavorstory, then leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.

Contest ends on Saturday, May 3rd at noon CDT. Once the winner is chosen, I’ll make contact via email and post the name here on the blog. If they don’t respond within 48 hours, I’ll be forced to choose another, so be sure to check your email!


Disclosure: McCormick compensated me and provided me with the four Indian spices seen above in order to create a recipe to share with you. As always, all opinions are my own!