Sumac Chicken Salad with Labne Ranch
Finally booking up summer. Lots of visits back to Toronto, visits to NJ/NY, a short trip to Vegas to play the roulette table like a seventy year old woman, and adult summer camp. Yaaaasssssss. Adult summer camp to hike, swim in the lake, participate in color wars, learn how to play the ukulele, and make friendship bracelets. So strange to think about doing those things as an adult but I’m so ready for it. Now I just have to get over my fear of insects and peeing in the woods. =|
This sumac chicken salad is light and fresh. The sumac gives the chicken a bright lemony flavor along with this beautiful magenta hue. The labne ranch is lighter than your normal ranch dressing with less fat. Candied pecans give the salad a bit of sweetness and an awesome crunch. Bring this to the next BBQ or even for the 4th of July!! If you’re looking for a vegetarian version of this salad, you can omit the chicken and just sprinkle a decent amount of sumac onto the salad before tossing. It will be just as delicious. Like any salad, the best quality vegetables and products make the difference between a decent salad and a great salad. Make sure you’re getting the freshest where you can!
SUMAC CHICKEN SALAD WITH LABNE RANCH
MAKES 4 APPETIZER SERVINGS
½ cup labne, or greek yogurt
2 tbsp chopped chives
zest from ½ lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp mild mustard powder
¼ tsp garlic powder
2 pinches of salt
1 – 1 ½ lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
1-2 tbsp olive oil
3-4 small heads sweet lettuce gems, torn into bite sized pieces
1 red endive, cut into bite sized pieces
¼ cup candied pecans, roughly chopped
6-8 chives, cut into 1” long pieces
1 ripe avocado, sliced
FOR THE RANCH LABNE: In a small bow, combine all the ingredients for the dressing and set aside until ready to serve. If the dressing seems too thick, thin it out with a bit of cool water.
FOR THE SUMAC CHICKEN: Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan or plate so they lay flat. Place them in the freezer for 2 to 2 ½ hours until partially frozen but not solid. With a sharp knife, slice each breast into 3 thin pieces lengthwise with the knife parallel to the cutting board (as if you are butterflying the breast but keep slicing through).
Season the chicken on each side with lots of sumac and salt. Heat a large skillet or fry pan with a few tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Sear the chicken for 1-2 minutes per side until cooked through. Do this in batches if the skillet is not big enough to fit all the chicken. Alternatively, you can grill the chicken!
FOR THE SALAD: Place the lettuce, endive, pecans, and chives in a large bowl. Drizzle with some of the dressing, DO NOT OVER DRESS! Toss the salad until the dressing coats it nicely. Best to toss it with clean hands so that you don’t damage the tender lettuce. Plate the salad and place a few slices of avocado on top. Season with Maldon salt. Place the chicken on top and serve with extra dressing on the side! Enjoy