Mediterranean Chicken Salad
Cary and Raleigh, N.C.
Sassool is a family-owned concept serving authentic Lebanese and Mediterranean cuisine in a fast-casual setting. The kitchen prepares chicken salad with a garlic olive oil and lemon juice dressing rather than the creamy mayonnaise typical of the South. The chicken is first marinated then grilled to give it a smoky flavor, after which it’s baked to seal in the crispness. It resembles the texture of fried chicken but along with the dressing, gives the salad a lighter, healthier twist.
16 cloves garlic, divided
½ cup lemon juice, divided
½ cup olive oil, divided
4 lb. chicken thighs
2 bunches Italian parsley
2 large tomatoes
2 bunches green onions
2 tsp. salt
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1. In food processor, puree 8 cloves garlic, ¼ cup lemon juice and ¼ cup olive oil until blended. Pour over chicken thighs and marinate in refrigerator 12 hours.
2. Heat charcoal or gas grill until hot. Grill marinated chicken for 3 minutes on each side until slightly charred. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 F.
3. Place chicken thighs on sheet pan and bake in oven for 40 minutes or until cooked through and crispy. Remove from oven and let cool.
4. Meanwhile, chop parsley, tomatoes and green onions into small pieces; set aside.
5. For dressing, in food processor, puree remaining 8 garlic cloves with 2 teaspoons salt. Add remaining ¼ cup lemon juice, ¼ cup olive oil and balsamic vinegar; pulse until blended.
6. Cut chicken into small cubes. In bowl, combine cubed chicken and chopped vegetables; pour dressing on top and mix well. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.