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
This recipe calls for poaching the chicken, but you can also use leftover grilled or roasted chicken, too.
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
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!