Recipes from the Golden Age of Cinema: Curried Chicken Salad

You may know this particular actress' work if you have ever found yourself wondering how someone could divorce and remarry the same man twice (kinda romantic in an odd way, you have to admit). Or, is it possible for someone to really have violet eyes? (It is -- kind of -- it turns out they were such a unique shade of deep blue they really DID look purple. They have become so iconic even a perfume is named after them). 

That's right, today's recipe comes from none other than Elizabeth Taylor, a true "foodie". So much so, it is said that when her and her then-husband Richard Burton raided the refrigerator they referred to it as “grapple-snapping.” So let's get to it, fellow grapple-snappers.... 

 Liz (she reportedly hated the nickname but I think she looks like a Liz in this photo) looks like she is ready to enjoy a summer BBQ in this sizzling shot. 

Liz (she reportedly hated the nickname but I think she looks like a Liz in this photo) looks like she is ready to enjoy a summer BBQ in this sizzling shot. 

Elizabeth Taylor's Curried Chicken Salad 

You will need: 

  • 8 oz low fat mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon apricot jam
  • Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
  • 6 oz chicken breast, broiled or stewed, skin removed
  • 1/2 crisp, green apple, chunked
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons curried mayonnaise (to taste, recipe below)
  • ripe mango (optional)

First, to make the curried mayonnaise... I have to admit, I am not a fan of low-fat mayo. But there was something new on the shelf, I had to try... avocado mayo, also low fat (comparatively speaking anyway), so I decided to give it a whirl. I wasn't disappointed! This curried mayo is easy, all you need to do is blend the lemon or lime juice (I chose lime) with the curry powder, the apricot jam, and the mayo. I was a little concerned about putting apricot jam in my mayonnaise, but I will just issue a spoiler alert and say that this chicken salad is DELICIOUS. 

Now, on to the main ingredients. Dice the celery and cube the apple. For the chicken, I was going to boil it, but I ended up broiling it. I swear, I can't figure out how to broil a chicken without making the entire chicken smoky, thus setting off all the fire alarms... but that slightly browned skin makes it worth it. Slice the chicken, toss it in with the celery and apple, and dole out the curry dressing to taste. 

The original recipe calls for ripe mango as a garnish, but sadly I couldn't find any for this go around. Also, I tried throwing in some slivered almonds, and I have to say, that made it even BETTER. 

This recipe looks awfully similar to what they call "Coronation Chicken" which has its own illustrious history of being served at the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth. This iteration is going to become a mainstay at our summer BBQs, and I love the added caché of saying, "this is Elizabeth Taylor's recipe."

I think just about everything tastes better when you say it was invented by a movie star.  And the salad was a hit with our friends. 

If you try it out, please let me know how your grapple-snapping went! 

read on for more recipes from your favorite classic hollywood stars: