North African Grilled Chicken Salad

By Natalie
August 9, 2015
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Author Notes: North African dishes often pair sweet with savory in a complex and oh-so-satisfying way. The sweetness from the apple and dried apricot pairs perfectly with the salty olives and tangy, warming yogurt dressing. I love this over a bed of greens or a bowl of rice. Grilling the chicken is not a requirement; cook it any way that you like!
FYI: Turmeric and ginger are 2 of my favorite spices because of their amazing healing properties. So dig in!

Food52 Review: This North African twist on chicken salad is simple, and full of varied textures and flavors that wow the palate. From the crispy apple and walnut crunch, to the salty olive and tangy lemon bite, to the sweet apricot finish, this dish is quite honestly my favorite homemade Middle Eastern meal yet! Its versatility also makes this a keeper, as leftovers from a hearty dinner served with rice or over a salad can be enjoyed stuffed in a pita pocket for lunch! Annika Kay

Serves: 2 to 3

For the marinade:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed

For the salad:

  • 1/4 cup plain, whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup green olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add the chicken and turn over to coat evenly. Let marinate for at least 3 hours.
  2. Heat up your grill or grill pan to medium and cook chicken for about 5 minutes on each side, or until fully cooked. Remove from grill and, using two forks, shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, paprika, cayenne (if using), salt, and garlic. Add in the chicken, olives, dried apricots, apple, walnuts and mint. Toss to combine. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

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