Saffron Chicken & Herb Salad
The View From the Great Island
Saffron Chicken & Herb Salad is a unique and explosive combination of flavors --- i guarantee it's like no other chicken salad you've ever had!
- 1 orange
- 1 tbsp honey
- 0.5 tsp saffron threads
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 1.25 cups water
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 4 tbsp olive oil ((divided))
- 2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed and very thinly sliced
- handful of cilantro leaves
- handful of basil leaves, torn, if large
- smaller handful mint leaves, torn if large
- 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 hot chile pepper, preferably red (thinly sliced)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- salt and fresh ground black pepper
- Set oven to 400F
- Slice off both ends of the orange, and then cut into 12 wedges. Remove any seeds. Put the wedges, peel and all, into a small saucepan with the honey, saffron, and vinegar. Add just enough water to cover the oranges. Bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour, or until it is reduced to a thick syrup. Add a bit more water during cooking if it gets too dry. Use a food processor or immersion blender to puree the mixture into a smooth 'sauce', adding a little more water if is too thick to pour.
- Rub the chicken breasts with half the oil, and salt and pepper. Brown on both sides on a hot grill pan for 2 minutes per side, or until you get good grill marks. Transfer to a baking sheet and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, until just done inside.
- Cool the chicken until you can handle it and then tear it into large bite sized pieces. Put the chicken in a large salad bowl and toss with some of the orange paste. I used enough to lightly coat the chicken. (You won't need all of the sauce.)
- Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl, including the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil Toss gently.
- Season with salt and pepper and taste to adjust any of the seasonings.