Curried Couscous Chicken Salad


The first time I had curry, it was at the house of one of my third grade students during my first year of teaching.

The very British family invited Meeker and I over to share a meal as a Christmas gift to their’ son’s teacher (me). Basically my dream come true.

Basically Meeker’s worst nightmare.

We ate dinner for six people (two of them kiddos) at a tiny kitchen table – their cat sat smack dab in the middle of everything. On the table. They talked in heavy British accents all night, making jokes I barely understood, while the kids screeched and danced and flipped out that their teacher was at their house…and it ended up being one of the best dinners I can remember.


Oh heavens, it was so stinking good.

Meeker has been asking me to recreate it for years (literally, years), and I never have. ALSO, this is not anywhere close to the kind of curry that we ate at their house – but it is curry and it is delicious.


Curried Couscous Chicken Salad

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The Chicken

  • 1 lb chicken
  • 1 1/2 C chicken broth

The Couscous

  • 1 1/4 C chicken broth
  • 1 C couscous
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 4-5 basil leaves, finely chopped

The Curry Sauce

  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 T mild curry powder
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • 2 T butter
  • 8 ounces canned coconut milk (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 C crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 C heavy cream

Put the chicken and broth in your slow cooker. Cook on low for 3-4 hours, then shred with a fork. Set aside. (You could really cook the chicken any way, I just think this is the easiest)

Roughly chop the onion, garlic, and carrots. Put them in the food processor along with the curry, cinnamon, ginger, and saffron. Blitz into a coarse paste.

In a large skillet or soup pot, heat 2 T butter until it melts. Reduce heat and add the curry paste and cook for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth, coconut milk, tomatoes, and heavy cream. Cook until thickened.

Meanwhile, bring the remaining 1 1/4 C chicken broth to a boil. Pour in the couscous, turn off the heat, and cover. Let set for 5 minutes. Then fluff with a fork. Mix in the bell pepper, green onions, and basil and set aside.

Combine all ingredients, garnish with cashews and golden raisins, if ya like.


33 comments on this post.
  1. chelsey @ clean eating chelsey:

    haha! I don’t know how I’d feel going over for dinner at one of my student’s houses. You are a better teacher than me!

  2. emily:

    That looks amazing! I’ve been craving curried chicken salad like mad recently so you posted at the perfect time for me. Now all I need to do is finish finals so I can get cooking!

  3. Lindsay's List:

    i’d be Meeker in this situation.

  4. Tamara:

    That looks so good and easy! I may make this for my lunches next week. A rotisserie chicken could even help out in those weeks when time is extra crunchy (two jobs and a class make for exciting times, I tell ya!). Thanks, Katie. :)

  5. Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats:

    Ha! My husband would be the same way – very comfortable!!! Believe it or not, I’ve never had curry, nor made it. I need to get on the bandwagon.

    I almost forgot! You won my Panera gift card giveaway! Shoot me an email…..

  6. Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots:

    this sounds good! Ha I can’t believe you had dinner at your students house! When I was student teaching in South Africa all the kids wanted me to come over to there house, but I never went because if I went to 1 I would have gone to all 30 of their houses!

  7. Katie:

    Nah, just always up for a free meal!

  8. Katie:

    good luck with your finals!

  9. Katie:

    If you lived closer, I would have dragged you along, too. (And he ended up having great time. Minus the screeching kids. He’s such a sport.)

  10. Katie:

    I never got any other invitations (I mean, not from the parents. I got PLENTY from those little 8 year olds)!

  11. Corey @ When We Wander:

    That looks so good! I’ve only had curry once (but i loved it) however my boyfriend is convinced he hates it, so maybe I’ll try to sneak this one on his plate and he will realize curry is delicious.

  12. kim@hungryhealthygirl:

    I love couscous and this looks like such a different way to cook it up! Can’t wait to give it a try!

  13. christina:

    It’s so pretty! Call me crazy, but I think golden raisins are so pretty. Is that weird?

  14. christina:

    What the hell am I saying? I just called a wrinkled up fruit pretty. Uhhhh

  15. Ashley:

    Umm, that story is hilarious!! The cat!? I would have died! What a fun memory. :)

  16. Katie:

    Right? That cat sat IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TABLE. I kept looking around like…is this real life?!

  17. Cait's Plate:

    Ahahaha – what I wouldn’t give to have been a fly on the wall watching Meeker in that situation.

    This looks delicious! I’ve never given curry a big chance…I have no idea why – but this makes me want to change that. Love that the chicken is shredded…sooo much better that way.

  18. Heather @ Heather's Dish:

    Nate hates curry but I cannot get enough…This salad makes ones serving. Right? :)

  19. janetha:

    ummmm.. are you living in my brain? i have been addicted to whole foods’ curried turkey salad and ran out just last night! i am making this!

    also, when my parents went to idaho to buy me my cat, they ate dinner at the breeder’s house. there was over 100 cats.. like 8 on the kitchen table! crazy crazy.

  20. joelle (on a pink typewriter):

    Yum, this couscous look great. I’ve never, ever had curry though!

  21. Katie:

    It is, isn’t it?! Just more surface area to soak up all the goodness. ;-)

  22. Katie:

    Definitely. Four cups = one serving.

  23. Eileen:

    Well, can I just come over sometime and eat this when you make it? This looks and sounds fabulous – I love this kind of food but never have the patience or tools or spices to pull it all off. Yes, bad excuses, but it could be exactly the kind of motivation I need to move to CO if you invited me over for this! :-) Hee hee!

  24. Katie @ Blonde Ambition:

    That story is too funny. It’s weird to think of kids freaking out about teachers being at their house — my mom is a teacher (and taught at my middle school…worst 2 years ever…for her) so I’ve had teachers at my house for years!

    Anywho, this sounds great. I am a fan of any coconut milk-based curry, and I bet all the veggies, raisins and cashews gave this dish awesome texture!

  25. Bonnie:

    Made this tonight! It was delish – thanks for the inspiration! :)

  26. Gina:

    2 things lady, 1. this looks absolutely delicious. Curry anything and I’m on-board. 2. I’ve been meaning to tell you how awesome your pics are looking lately. Not that they ever weren’t good. ;)

  27. Sarah (The Simple Dietitian):

    I am obsessed with curry! I order it whenever I can (as long as I know the restaurant knows what they’re doing!) I had a fabulous Mango/Tofu Curry a while back, and it had this fabulous sweet but spicy flavor going on. Amazing!

    Anyways. I can’t wait to make this dish!! Anything with the name “curry” on the front of it is right up my alley. :D

  28. Em (Wine and Butter):

    Us British people have the best sense of humour right!? (and check out that second u in my humoUr). Also we totally have pets at the table too – maybe not ON the table, but I oftentimes pull up achair for Archie to jump into. And I am not even kidding!!

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