Cooking with Maria Hines: Curry Chicken Salad Recipe

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

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A bowl of curry chicken salad on a blue table

Curry Chicken Salad

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



Step 1

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Photo Credit: Marshall Photography

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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.