Cooking with Maria Hines: Curry Chicken Salad

James Beard Award-winning chef Maria Hines helps you level-up your next outdoor gathering with a recipe for the perfect al fresco lunch.

Makes 4 servings | Gluten Free, Paleo, Keto


  • 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, about 12 ounces total
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 cups spinach, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce


Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the chicken, skin side down. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the skin is golden brown. Flip the chicken over, using a spatula, and cook for another 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the chicken rest for 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bone and cut into 1/4-inch chunks. Place in a bowl and let cool in the fridge.

Photo Credit: Marshall Photography

When the chicken is cool, remove it from the fridge and add all the other ingredients to the bowl. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Mix thoroughly and serve.

Download and print this recipe.

Recipe from Chef Maria Hines, Peak Nutrition: Smart Fuel for Outdoor Adventure.

This year, REI collaborated with West Elm to co-create a collection that makes it easier than ever to make yourself at home outside. To celebrate, we invited Maria Hines, a James Beard Award-winning chef and co-author of Peak Nutrition: Smart Fuel for Outdoor Adventure, to show you how to level-up your next outdoor gathering with tasty and nutritious dishes.

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