Friday, May 30, 2014

Curry Chicken Salad - I'll Leave it to the Pros at Sprizzo's

Last Fall, I met my friend for lunch at Sprizzo's in downtown Waukesha. She had never been so I wanted to introduce her to someplace different and delicious.

Sprizzo's happened to have a curry chicken salad lettuce wrap as a special that day. Both of us said it sounded wonderful but (and these are her exact words) "something doesn't like chicken right now. I love chicken but something else doesn't." With a small point to her stomach, it was my friend's super cute way of telling me that she was going to be having a baby! The baby was anti-chicken at that point in her pregnancy. I jumped up and hugged her immediately and was so excited for her.

I still ordered the curry chicken lettuce wrap and was majorly impressed. I even went so far as to review Sprizzo's on Facebook and told them to keep it around.

I'm embarrassed to say but even the ridiculously cold weather kept me out of downtown Waukesha more than I wanted it to this past winter. I shouldn't have let it be an excuse, but I did, and I apologize to the city for my lack of support during those frigid months. 

BUT, last week was gorgeous finally and I took full advantage of walking downtown and seeing what's new and changed. More on that in a future post.

I ended up stopping into Sprizzo's after doing a mile walking loop around downtown and saw that Chicken Curry Lettuce Wrap as the special. SOLD! No doubt about it - I knew I was having that for lunch.

It was just as wonderful as I remembered. Not to spicy, a good amount of sweet and the chicken was so nicely chopped up.

I decided to try making this at home with a recipe I found online that seemed to have similar ingredients to what I could taste in Sprizzo's version. I would say that I made a solid effort and liked the outcome for the most part, but I overdid it on the curry powder and it overwhelmed my 'buds. When I tasted it right after I made it and didn't allow the flavors to meld, it tasted bland, so I added some more curry. That was my mistake. I had to have it with crackers or on bread and couldn't just have it with lettuce wraps. I needed something to help absorb the spice.

I do have more sensitive buds than the average mouth so maybe this recipe will be fine for some, but I think I am going to leave it up to the chef at Sprizzo's to make my curry chicken salad from here forward. This doesn't mean I won't try again with less curry or a sweeter curry powder, but I do know that Sprizzo's knows what they are doing and I will definitely keep ordering it from them.

Here is how I altered the online recipe:
-I started with 1 1/2 Tbsp. curry and added just 1 more tsp. It ended up really peppery so I would suggest 1 1/2 Tbsp. or use a sweet curry.
-I used 1/2 cup Miracle Whip and 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt. I ended up added 1/4 cup more Miracle Whip to reduce the peppery spice. 
-Didn't have mango chutney, so I took 4 frozen peach slices, 1 Tbsp. strawberry preserves and a Tbsp. of sugar and pureed it in my blender. I ended up adding more strawberry preserves to help kill the pepper of the curry.
- I didn't have whole peppercorns, so I used black pepper on the chicken, but I tasted the chicken and it wasn't peppery then.
-I didn't have cloves, so I used all spice and it worked well in this instance.

Overall, I modified a bit to try to get the flavor I was looking for and definitely gave it my best effort, but Sprizzo's, you make it better and I'll keep coming back for it. Don't take this special away :)

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