Once in a while I crave chicken salad, but dislike the heaviness of mayonnaise. I have heard about how nicely Greek yogurt works in chicken salads and thought I would test out some different spices to create various flavor profiles.  My latest chicken salad concoction had me experimenting with plain Greek yogurt and za’atar.  Za’atar is a Mediterranean spice mixture, traditionally a combination of dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, sumac, sesame seeds, and oftentimes salt.  I love this stuff and can basically sprinkle it on almost anything, so when I was trying to come up with a lighter chicken salad I thought it would be a great option to test out.  I was right…The result was a delightful, light salad that I served over watercress.   I made it ahead, enjoyed it for dinner, and had leftovers for lunch.

Za’atar Chicken Salad
Serves 6
This recipe calls for poaching the chicken, but you can also use leftover grilled or roasted chicken, too.

Poached Chicken
6 skinless, boneless, chicken breast halves (about 3 ounces each)
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1 lemon, sliced into eight pieces
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Za’Atar Dressing:
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Juice from one lemon
3 tablespoons za’atar (or more to taste)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, cleaned and finely chopped
1 medium English cucumber, diced
Salt and pepper to taste

Poach the chicken: Arrange the chicken in single layer in a large pot. Add the remaining ingredients and add enough cold water so that the chicken is covered. Bring the ingredients to a boil, reduce the heat to medium – low, and simmer for approximately 20 minutes.  Remove the pot from the heat and let the chicken cool.

Make the dressing: Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl and stir until they are fully combined. 

Once the chicken has cooled, chop it into bite-size pieces and toss with the dressing.  Let chill for at least one hour.  Serve over greens, in a wrap, or as a sandwich filling on whole-grain bread. Enjoy!

Serves 6.


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