Saffron and Herb Chicken Salad

(Saffron and Herb Chicken Salad download as pdf)

A fragrant and fresh salad, inspired by Mr Ottolenghi, that will turn the humble roast chicken into a moist and delicious, colourful summer lunch

Serves 4 generously


  • 1 large orange
  • 2 1/2 tbsp honey (I used Honeys of Henley)
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 chicken breasts (use the best you can afford, it makes a difference, organic and free-range)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small fennel bulbs, thinly sliced (I used a mandolin, deadly, but ideal for this)
  • 15g picked coriander leaves
  • 15g picked basil leaves, torn
  • 15 picked mint leaves, torn
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • salt and black pepper


Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas Mark 6.

  1. Cut the top and bottom off the orange.
  2. Cut down into 4 slices then cut each of these slices across in half.
  3. Put the wedges into a small saucepan with the honey, saffron, vinegar and enough water to cover them.
  4. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for about an hour.
  5. After this time you should be left with a beautiful dark orange thick syrup.
  6. You can use a stick blender or food processor to blitz the oranges and their juice. What you are looking for is a loose paste consistency.
  7. Place you chicken in a bowl and pour over a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, then season with pepper and salt.
  8. If you have a griddle pan use this to get those cheffy sear marks, if not just use your frying pan to get some nice colour on the breasts.
  9. Transfer to a roasting tin and place in the oven for 15–20 minutes, or until just cooked.
  10. Place all the ingredients into a large bowl or plate.
  11. When the chicken has cooled a little either tear it with your hands or slice into bite-sized chunks.
  12. Add this to your serving vessel and pour over about half of your sauce.
  13. Mix together well.
  14. You may want to add little more olive oil and lemon.