For a creative chicken salad we were inspired by the flavors of Morocco: apricots, lemon and warm spices.
To give our dressing a taste, we went to Mount Masala, a traditional blend of spices made from coriander, cumin, ginger, cinnamon and black pepper. We also added some more coriander, honey and smoked paprika for depth.
The flourishing of spices in the microwave deepened their taste for an even bolder dressing. Chickpeas later repeated the Moroccan theme and gave a soulful, and crispy romaine in combination with a slightly bitter watercress salad made the perfect greens for our fillings. By reserving a little dressing to sprinkle it just before serving, the flavors are revealed.
MOROCCAN CHICKEN SALAD WITH APRICOTS AND ALMONDS
Servings Per Container: 4-6
From start to finish: 1 hour
1½ pounds boneless, skinless, trimmed chicken breasts
Add salt and pepper
¾ glasses of olive oil
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon ground coriander
Pinch the smoked paprika
¼ glasses of lemon juice (2 lemons)
1 tablespoon honey
1 can of chickpeas (15 oz), rinsed
¾ cups of dried apricots, finely chopped
1 shallots, cut into thin slices
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 hearts of romaine lettuce (12 ounces), cut into 1 inch pieces
4 ounces (4 cups) watercress salad
½ cups of whole almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
Dry the chicken with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until just starting to smoke. Brown the chicken well on the first side, 6 to 8 minutes. Turn the chicken over, add ½ glasses of water and cover. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until chicken is 160 F, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, allow to cool slightly, then cut into slices ½ inches thick to the side. Allow to cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat in the microwave 1 tablespoon oil, mountains of butter, coriander and paprika in a medium bowl until the oil is hot and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk 3 tablespoons lemon juice, honey, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper into the spice mixture. Constantly beating, pour the remaining oil.
In a large bowl, mix the chilled chicken, chickpeas, apricots, shallots, parsley and half the dressing and pour. Allow the mixture to infuse for 15 to 30 minutes. Whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into the remaining dressing.
Mix the rye, watercress and almonds together in a serving bowl, pour the rest of the dressing on top and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with chicken mixture and serve.
Nutrition information per serving: 588 calories; 344 calories from fat; 38 g of fat (5 g of saturated; 0 g of trans fat); 83 mg of cholesterol; 364 mg of sodium; 29 g of carbohydrates; 6 g of fiber; 12 g of sugar; 32 g of protein.
Find more recipes, such as Moroccan chicken salad, in the “Complete Cookbook Make Ahead”.