It’s occurring to me now that what may have planted the seed to make chicken salad sandwiches was A and I joking on the weekend that one of her chickens should be named Salad Sandwich.
There was leftover grilled chicken in the fridge, and so I hacked it up with a green onion and the last of the blueberries and added the final scraping from the jar of Hellman’s Light, and I think that was it. I toyed with the idea of adding some mango and curry powder, but was just craving a plain old chicken salad sandwich. (I’m not sure I would have wanted one as badly had I made the aforementioned connection earlier.)
I’m glad I didn’t mask the raspberry chicken flavour – this is the great thing about leftover chicken that has been marinated or cooked in some sort of sauce – the flavour translates over to the chicken salad. I love chicken salad sandwiches but rarely make them and am always disappointed when I get one out – they are never as chunky as they ought to be. These sandwiches were suitably chunky.
With it, some soup I made with a small acorn squash and the last third of a can of pumpkin puree from my fridge. This is a good basic curried squash soup to which you could add apples or pears, or even apple juice. If I plan for it I use butternut squash, but any kind will do – acorn, hubbard, pumpkin – don’t bother with spaghetti squash, I don’t think.
Curried Roast Squash Soup with Pears
Cooked winter squash of any kind is much easier to peel than raw squash. If you don’t have time to roast, cut it in half, place both halves on a plate or baking dish, and cover them with plastic wrap. Pop them in the microwave for about 10 minutes, which will make it easier to peel once they are cool enough to handle. This soup freezes really well, so double the batch if you want a stash tucked away for the next few months.
1 butternut, acorn or hubbard squash, or small pumpkin
a drizzle of canola or olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. – 1 Tbsp. curry powder or paste, or more or less to taste
1 ripe pear, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 L chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup milk, evaporated milk or half and half (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Cut your squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place it cut side down in a roasting pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray and bake for 40-45 minutes or until very tender. Set aside until it’s cool enough to handle. (You can cook the squash up to 2 days in advance; keep it covered in the fridge until you need it.)
Heat the oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat and sauté the onion until soft. Add the curry powder, pear, ginger and garlic and cook for a few more minutes, until the pear starts to soften. Peel the skin off the cooked squash using a vegetable peeler, paring knife or your fingers, and cut it into rough chunks. Add it to the soup with the chicken stock and bring it to a simmer. Reduce the heat and cook for about 10 minutes.
Purée the soup in a blender, or use a hand-held immersion blender to purée it right in the pot until it’s as chunky or as smooth as you like. Return the soup to the stovetop, add the milk or cream (if using), season with salt and pepper, and stir just until it’s heated through.
W ate oatmeal. He is the only toddler I know who won’t eat anything that resembles baby food – yogurt, applesauce, even juice. Weirdo. The lady who owns the corner store tried to give him a freezie the other day and he swatted it away and ran from it as if it were poison.