I’ll give you two guesses where we were on holidays this month! I’d never been to Turkey before and spent a week there with friends in a gorgeous town where there were very few tourists. This meant plenty of beautiful local restaurants serving the most amazing traditional food. Heaven.
While I didn’t see any of these style of Turkish Eggs on menus, Our hotel served up delicious menemen or Turkish scrambled eggs every morning. I came home determined to replicate some of the flavours and delighted that himself is open to yoghurt sauces now. As you know I make some form of chicken salad every week and am delighted to add this Turkish Chicken Salad to the menu now.
Useful tips & links:
- I usually make my own hummus but for this a good shop bought one will do fine.
- If you can get some long mild Turkish peppers you can add them to this. I don’t have access to them so I bought a jar of pickled green chilli peppers to use instead.
- Halloumi is used throughout Turkey and I’ve added it here. Alternatively you could use mild feta cheese crumbled on top.
- There is pomegranate molasses in the dressing here and you can enhance this flavour by adding pomegranate seeds or arils to the salad.
- A bit of crunch is always nice so I’ve added toasted chopped walnuts but you could use pine nuts or hazelnuts instead.
- To make this vegetarian, replace the chicken with aubergines.
- Have a look at Meliz Berg’s beautiful site Meliz Cooks for delicious authentic recipes.
- For recipes with similar flavours see my Hummus with Spiced Lamb, Greek Style Wraps or Roast Aubergine with Tahini.
Turkish Chicken Salad
For the marinade
- 50g of natural or Greek yoghurt
- The zest and juice of half a lemon
- 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed
- 1 teaspoon each of smoked paprika, sumac and pul biber or Aleppo pepper
- ½ a teaspoon of dried oregano
- A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- Black pepper
- 4 chicken breasts, butterflied
For the dressing
- 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses
- 1 tablespoon of runny honey
- 1 teaspoon of sumac
- ½ a teaspoon each of pul biber or Aleppo pepper, dried oregano and dried mint
- The juice of half a lemon
- Salt and pepper
For the salad
- 1 finely sliced red onion
- Salad leaves
- 2-3 large or 10 small ripe tomatoes, chopped into chunks
- 1 roasted red pepper, sliced
- Cucumber, de-seeded and chopped into chunks
- 250g of halloumi, sliced
- Whole pickled green chillis
- Chopped fresh coriander and toasted walnuts to garnish
- Mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl and add the chicken breasts. Mix thoroughly to make sure the meat is coated. Cover and allow to marinade in the fridge for 8 hours or for at least 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Next make the dressing by whisking all of the ingredients together and taste for seasoning. Add the finely sliced red onions to the dressing. They will improve the flavour and will cook slightly and soften in the dressing.
- When you are ready to make the salad, heat a dry heavy frying pan over a medium heat. Cook the chicken for about 5 minutes on each side until it is cooked through and beginning to char slightly. Remove from the pan and set aside to rest.
- Wipe out the pan to remove any blackened marinade and add the sliced halloumi. Fry until golden brown on both sides.
- While the cheese is cooking, plate the salad. Pour a little of the dressing over the leaves and mix through. Spread some hummus on one side of the plates and place the salad leaves on the other side. Top with the chopped tomatoes, cucumber and pepper.
- Slice the chicken and add it and the halloumi to the plate along with the pickled chillis.
- Drizzle over the softened onions and dressing. Sprinkle over the coriander and add some walnuts for crunch.