North African Grilled Chicken Salad

August  9, 2015
3 Ratings
Photo by Natalie
  • Serves 2 to 3
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! —Natalie

Test Kitchen Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • krikri
  • em-i-lis
  • Natalie

4 Reviews

krikri August 27, 2017
My family members aren't salad hounds like me, so I served it hot, reheating the chicken (serendipitous since it was slightly underdone!) and adding the rest, yogurt last. It was very good, everyone liked it! Thank you!
em-i-lis October 12, 2015
Natalie, my husband and I made and devoured this for dinner tonight! Delicious- thanks!
Natalie October 12, 2015
Yay! So glad you enjoyed it -- I love all of those flavors and textures :)
Natalie August 15, 2015
P.S. Excellent drizzle with a tahini lemon sauce :)