Top five things I miss about L.A.:
1. The way Cara and Charlene can make me laugh.
2. Shopping at Vionnet on Robertson Blvd.
3. Being tan year round, and it looking appropriate.
4. Driving, blasting music, and drinking a vanilla iced latte from Coffee Bean and Tea leaf.
5. The perfect curry chicken salad at Urth Cafe.
When I start feeling homesick for my previous digs, and can’t get Cara or Charlene on the phone, I whip up a curry chicken salad. This recipe is adapted from one I found in Gourmet magazine years ago and is quite like the real thing. Place a scoop atop a bed of mixed greens, or on a slightly toasted piece of ciabatta, and pretend you’re sitting in the sun on Melrose Avenue without a care in the world (except maybe your parking meter).
- 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 lb skinless boneless chicken breast
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup plain yogurt
- 5 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 medium red onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup salted roasted cashews, coarsely chopped
Bring 4 cups water to a simmer with chicken broth in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan. Add chicken and simmer, uncovered, 6 minutes. Now remove pan from heat, cover, and let stand until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. (I had never cooked chicken this way before, but it works great. The chicken is perfectly moist, never, ever dry.) After, transfer it to a plate, let cool and then chop into 1/2-inch pieces.
While chicken is cooling, whisk together mayonnaise, yogurt, curry, lime juice, honey, ginger, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add chicken, onion, raisins, and cashews and stir gently to combine.
Note: If you are short on time, money, motivation or all three, you can omit the ginger, lime, honey and onion.