chicken salad with pomegranate, chick peas, quinoa & harissa

There are chicken salads and then there are seriously tasty chicken salads, this one definitely falls into the latter category! So often I’ve ordered a chicken salad as a lighter lunch option but it is sadly lacking, or swimming in mayonnaise and I’ve been left disappointed. I want to eat a chicken salad that stands on it’s own and doesn’t require bread or other such additions to make it a meal. In a recent trip to London I ate at The Alma in Wandsworth where I ordered their chicken salad, I was not disappointed as it was a proper plate of salad, a meal in its own right. This recipe is inspired by that salad, albeit that I’ve added a my own dressing, different vegetables and a big hit of chilli spice!

 

To be fair our morning did not get off to be best start! My plan had been to meet Michelle for a coffee first thing whilst my car was in the garage, then we both planned to head our separate ways. However, a phone call from her by 8.30am put any and all plans into disarray as Michelle had locked herself out of her house without her car keys and living in the country she had no way of getting her children to school. I got my own children sorted and away on their bicycles to school before heading to Michelle’s to pick them all up and get her children to school on time (SuperMum her youngest calls me as this is not my first rescue mission!).  After a few hours of running around, including a drive into Aberdeen to collect house keys, we realised that any plans we had had gone by the wayside and so headed to my house instead where I decided I would make us both a nice lunch and that chicken salad was what came to mind.

The chicken is simply pan-fried and its a case of layering up all the other elements to create this chicken salad. Of course the dish is helped with the addition of super fresh lettuce picked straight from my own garden. I love a harissa salad dressing as it adds a lovely kick of chilli, my favourite is Belazu Rose Harissa a jar of which you will always find in my kitchen. The combination of chicken, pomegranate, chickpeas, quinoa, avocado, tomato and salad with a generous drizzle of dressing is delicious and with enough to make it a proper meal on its own. The salad and dressing are so good on their own that it’s really easy to make this vegetarian by omitting the chicken and replacing it with some feta or halloumi cheese.

It just goes to show that sometimes its best to accept the day you’re going to have and keep on laughing. Friendship, laughter and lunch – what better way to spend the day!

chicken salad with harissa dressing

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 50g butter
  • 50g quinoa
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 400g tin chickpeas (drained)
  • 1 avocado (sliced)
  • 2-3 tomatoes (sliced)
  • 3 spring onions (sliced)
  • 1 pomegranate (seeds only)
  • 2 tbsp parsley (chopped)
  • salt & pepper

dressing

  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp Belazu rose harissa
  • 1 lemon (juice only)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt & pepper

Directions

Heat the sunflower oil and butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Saute on both sides until the chicken is golden and cooked through, approximately 20 minutes depending on size. Once cooked leave to rest for 5 minutes before cutting up and placing on salad.
Make the quinoa as per the packet instructions, adding a chicken stock cube to the pan of water. (A vegetable stock cube can be substituted if making a vegetarian version). Once cooked drain and set aside to cool.
Place all the salad dressing ingredients into a small bowl and mix together to combine.
When ready to serve pile up the salad ingredients, starting with a layer of salad leaves on the bottom and building up from there with all remaining ingredients. Once the Chicken has been added to the plate sprinkle over some fresh parsley and a generous drizzle of salad dressing. Serve immediately.

 

 

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