Sunday, 20 January 2013

Saffron Orange Chicken Salad

What do you think of the new header on Kale Eats?  It seemed time to remove those juicy heirloom tomatoes from summer.  Although every time I saw the homepage they were there smiling back at me.  Like a promise that fresh, seasonal vegetables will be within my grasp sometime soon and this long winter won't last forever.

We received notice this week that it is time to sign up for CSA again this summer.  I asked my family if we should do it again and all three said: YES!  I was surprised and delighted with their responses.  Although, all three admitted that they mostly wanted me to sign up because it brings me so much joy.  Josilin at least commented that the carrots from "the farmer" taste better than any other.  I'm amazed how even though I promise myself I will eat local or hit the farmers' market all winter long, it often doesn't happen.  When the snow flies I'm pretty quick to take what the grocery shelves serve me and that is almost always imported fruits and vegetables.
Local red cabbage can still be purchased in the area, but that is the only ingredient that I can claim in this one, besides the locally raised chickens. Oranges in the dead of winter are a Canadian tradition (or at least a Kale Eats one) that tease the palate of fresher days to come.   I'm sure they are in season somewhere and they are never going to grow in our backyard.  Don enjoyed the combo in a wrap and I was happy in a salad form.  It kept for a couple days in the fridge to take on lunches or snack before bed.  It amazed me that the fennel and cabbage stayed crunchy that long.  

Saffron Orange Chicken Salad

adapted from Jerusalum

1 orange, cut into 12 wedges
3 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp saffron threads
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cup water
2 large chicken breasts (about 2lbs)
1 lrg fennel bulb, sliced thin and chopped
1 cup chopped red cabbage (about 1/4 head)
1/2 cup parsley leaves
1/2 cup basil leaves, sliced thin
15 mint leaves sliced thin
4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 red chile, diced fine

Preheat the oven to 400degrees.
In a small pot combine the orange wedges, honey, saffron, vinegar and water.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer until orange softened and only 3 Tbsp liquid syrup remains in pot.  About 45min- 1hr.  Add more water if the liquid evaporates during cooking and before oranges softened.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Place in blender or food processor and mix until a paste forms.  Add 1tsp water at a time if too thick.  Reserve.
While oranges are cooking, place chicken breasts in a oiled roasting pan and bake in oven about 30min, until cooked through.
In a small jar or bowl, mix together the lemon juice, olive oil and mustard.  Shake or stir.  Reserve.
Chop the chicken while warm and place in a bowl with half the orange paste.  Toss herbs, fennel, cabbage and lemon dressing with chicken mixture.  Season with salt and pepper.  Enjoy on it's own or in a whole wheat wrap.
**Ottolenghi suggests the remaining orange paste will keep in the fridge for a few days.  It would make a good addition to an herb salsa with oily fish.**


  1. The header looks great - and this salad looks like a dream!

    1. thanks Gillian! I was having a moment of self doubt when I posted this one.. thinking, who really eats food like this but me?? hope you give it a try!