I’ve shared my love for the spice mix known as Ras el Hanout many times before. I also tend to share recipes using blood oranges at this time every year. So this year I decided to combine the two and here is my Moroccan Chicken Salad with Blood Oranges and Feta. And because I like to over complicate things, I’ve added almonds and pomegranates to the mix too. It all makes for a delicious, fresh and light yet satisfying Winter salad.
When I say spice mix, I don’t mean chilli heat. This blend has layers of warming spice flavours. If you want to add a chilli kick feel free to do so or even a little sprinkling of Aleppo Pepper on top will add a sweet citrusy heat. Even though I have cooked chicken for this, the salad is a great way to use up leftover roast chicken. I do serve it warm but it is just as nice cooled and would make a great packed lunch.
Useful tips & links:
- Ras el Hanout is now easily available in most supermarkets. However if you can’t get it you can easily make your own. There is no definitive recipe but this one from My Moroccan Food looks great.
- If blood oranges are out of season, use regular oranges but leave the honey out of the dressing as the juice will be sweeter. You can add it after if it is needed.
- If you want to make a vegetarian version of this dish, try roasting chickpeas in the spice mix and make sure the cheese is suitable.
- This is a very quick meal to make. However, all of the elements of this dish can be prepped ahead of time, just don’t add the dressing and onions until you are ready to eat it.
- Bake the chicken or butterfly it before frying for quicker cooking like I did in this Smoked Paprika Chicken Salad.
- For variety, you could also add some preserved lemon to the spice mix when marinating the chicken. Fresh mint leaves could also be mixed through the salad leaves.
- I like this salad as a fresh light meal in itself but if you want to bulk it up, you could serve it with flatbreads or pitta breads. This Harissa Couscous is also an ideal side for it.
- For more delicious recipes using blood orange, Niamh from Eat Like a Girl has this gorgeous Tuna Tartare with Blood Orange Radicchio and Franck from The Hungry Breton showcases them perfectly in this Beluga Lentils Salad.
Moroccan Chicken Salad with Blood Orange and Feta
- 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
- 1 heaped tablespoon of Ras el Hanout
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- A pinch of salt
- 2 blood oranges
- 1 small red onion
- 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons of pomegranate molasses
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- Salt and pepper
- Salad leaves
- 50g of feta cheese
- Pomegranate seeds
- Toasted flaked almonds
- Cut the chicken breast into large cubes and place in a bowl. Mix the Ras el Hanout, olive oil and salt together and pour the mix over the chicken. Stir together and set aside for about 20 minutes to allow the chicken to soak up the flavours.
- Next finely slice the red onion into half moons. Whisk together the juice of half of one of the oranges, the extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, molasses and honey until fully combined and taste before seasoning. If you need a bit more sweetness add a little more honey. Add the sliced onions to the salad dressing anf allow them to soften in it.
- When you are ready to make the salad, heat a dry frying pan over a medium heat and cook the chicken until just cooked through.
- While the chicken is cooking peel and segment or slice the remaining 1½ blood oranges. Dress some salad leaves with some of the onion and dressing. Arrange the blood oranges on top of the leaves and top with the cooked chicken.
- Crumble over the feta cheese and sprinkle over the pomegranate seeds and toasted flaked almonds to taste.