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Chicken Salad

2 small (about 1 pound) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 small, ripe honeydew or similar sweet melon, diced small
1 celery stalk, diced small
4 tablespoons mayonnaise, or to taste
1 tablespoon mild Indian curry paste, or to taste, available at specialty
food stores
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a shallow skillet, bring to a boil enough water to just cover
the chicken. Add the breasts and salt to taste and simmer the
chicken over moderately low heat for 8 minutes, or until cooked
through but still slightly springy to the touch. Transfer the
chicken to a plate and let cool. Cut into dice.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked chicken with the melon and
celery. Add the mayonnaise and curry paste and gently fold the
mixture until it is well-combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cheese Scones

1/2 pound self-rising flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
2 ounces (about 2/3 cup) grated hard cheese, such as cheddar
1/2 cup buttermilk
chicken salad
fresh basil or mint leaves for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Into a bowl, sift the flour and salt, add the butter, and blend
the mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Stir in the cheese and
add enough of the buttermilk to form the mixture into a dough.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and gently knead
it just until it becomes soft and pliable. Roll out the dough into
a 1/2-inch thick circle and with a cutter stamp out rounds. Gather
together the remaining scraps of dough, roll into a circle, and
stamp out rounds. Transfer the scones to a lightly greased baking
sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to racks
to cool to room temperature.

When cooled, cut a thin slice from the top of each scone and gently
hollow out the centers. Spoon some of the chicken salad into each
scone and garnish with the basil or mint. (Assemble shortly before
serving or they will become soggy and heavy.)


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