Ottolenghi's saffron chicken and herb salad

  • 700 g chicken breasts (skinless)
  • 1 C bulgur
  • 2 small bulbs fennel (thinly sliced)
  • 15 g coriander leaves (torn)
  • 15 g basil leaves (torn)
  • 10 mint leaves (torn)
  • 1 clove garlic (crushed)
  • 1 red chilli (thinly sliced)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

For the Dressing

  • 1 orange
  • 50 g honey
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 300 ml water
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and black pepper
  1. Prepare all your ingredients.

  2. Add the bulgur to a saucepan and cover with 2 cups of salted water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 12 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside to cool.  

  3. For the dressing; trim and discard 1cm off the top and tail of the orange and cut it into 12 wedges, keeping the skin on. Remove any pips. Place the wedges in a small saucepan with the honey, saffron, vinegar and just enough water to cover the orange wedges. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for about an hour. At the end you should be left with soft orange and about 3 tablespoons of thick syrup; add water during the cooking if the liquid gets very low. Use a food processor to blitz the orange and syrup into a smooth, runny paste; again, add a little water if needed.

  4. Mix the chicken breast with half the olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper, and place on a very hot, ridged griddle or frying pan; Sear of about 2 minutes on each side, lower the heat and cook until done to your preference.  

  5. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, but still warm, tear it with your hands into rough and quite large pieces. Place in a large mixing bowl, pour over the orange dressing and stir well. Add the remaining ingredients to the salad, including the rest of the olive oil, and toss gently. Taste, add salt and pepper and, if needed, some more olive oil and lemon juice.

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