Put the chicken thighs in a stockpot with just enough cold water to cover them. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until cooked through, about 15 minutes. (Even better, butter poach the thighs following Heather’s recipe on page 130.) When the chicken is cool enough to handle, transfer to a cutting board and cut into bite-sized pieces ½ to ¾ inches.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, shallot, chutney, curry powder, honey, celery, and raisins. Fold in the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
To serve, arrange the arugula on a platter or individual serving plates. Spoon the chicken salad on top, add freshly ground black pepper, and garnish with chives.
Curried chicken salad is delicious, and in the past I’ve enjoyed versions that combine sweet seedless white grapes and zesty lime juice. But even better than that to my taste is this recipe including chutney, the spicy-sweet fruit condiment traditionally served in India alongside curries and other savory dishes. Look for the variety called Major Grey’s Chutney, sold under many different brands, which typically combines mangos, raisins, onion, vinegar, lime juice, and spices. The poached chicken thighs I like to use yield extra-juicy results, especially if you butter-poach them using my daughter Heather’s technique.
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
¾ cup mayonnaise (preferably Hellmann’s brand east of the Rockies or Best Foods brand in the west)
1 large shallot, finely diced
2 tablespoons fruit chutney, preferably Major Grey’s
1 tablespoon sweet curry powder
1 tablespoon honey
2 celery stalks, cleaned and cut into bite-sized pieces
½ cup golden raisins
2 to 3 cups baby arugula leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh chives, for garnish