The flavors of Morocco come together in this irresistibly delicious Moroccan Chicken Salad recipe! Perfect as a sandwich filling or served on a bed of lettuce leaves!
Moroccan food is just downright delicious. It’s considered among the most diverse cuisines in the world, the reason being that for centuries Morocco rubbed shoulders with a number of other culture influences, and they embraced those influences. Moroccan cuisine is primarily Berber-Moorish but also incorporates European influences, especially the Mediterranean.
This Moroccan chicken salad is a recipe that I developed several years ago and it has been a family favorite ever since. While by no means a traditional Moroccan dish, it incorporates several authentic Moroccan ingredients and flavors.
Many dishes in Morocco combine such ingredients as meat (mostly commonly chicken) with a variety of textures and flavors like crunchy nuts, sweet dried fruits, honey, harissa (a fiery Moroccan chili paste), olives and, a personal favorite, preserved lemons. That combination of ingredients is commonly found in tagines, a traditional Moroccan dish cooked in domed ceramic with the same name.
We’re going to create a fun and tasty dish that’s kind of like a tagine in the form of a chicken salad!
This Moroccan Chicken Salad is delicious as a sandwich filling but is also perfect to serve as an appetizer: Slice croissants into rounds, place a small piece of lettuce on them and top with a dollop of Moroccan Chicken Salad. Or, if you’re going for something lighter, low carb or gluten free, you can use Belgium endives: Remove the leaves and scoop some chicken salad into them. In both cases a small sprig of cilantro or parsley and a slice or two of black olives makes the perfect garnish.
Olives are an integral part of Moroccan cuisine and are a perfect addition to this chicken salad where they add a touch of brininess and a nice earthy flavor. When it comes to choosing which olive to use for this chicken salad, you can go with a mild or stronger olive, whichever you prefer.
If you prefer a stronger olive, Kalamata olives are a great option. With their deep, purplish tones, Kalamata olives are rich and intensely fruity and stand up well next to bold flavors. They add a nice briney contrast to this Moroccan Chicken Salad which I love.
Whichever route you choose, the flavors and textures in this Moroccan Chicken Salad are sure to win you over!
Moroccan Chicken Recipe
Let’s get started!
Slice the Kalamata olives, finely mince the preserved lemon, and coarsely chop the dried apricots, slivered almonds and cilantro.
The preserved lemons contribute soooo much to the flavor of this chicken salad. If you can’t find them in your local ethnic foods store you can very easily make them yourself, which is what I do. Check out my recipe for Preserved Lemons.
Add everything to medium mixing bowl with all of the remaining ingredients except for the chicken. Stir to combine.
Pour the mixture over the chicken in a large mixing bowl and stir to thoroughly coat the chicken.
Cover and refrigerate the Moroccan Chicken Salad for at least 2 hours before serving.
Enjoy as a delicious sandwich spread…
…or, as an appetizer, serve the Moroccan Chicken Salad scooped into endive leaves or on sliced croissant rounds (place a small piece of lettuce on the croissant slices to add color, texture and to prevent the croissant from getting soggy).
For more Moroccan inspired dishes be sure to try our:
And if you’re interested in more conventional chicken salad, ours gets RAVE reviews from our readers. Be sure to try our BEST Chicken Salad!
Moroccan Chicken Salad
- 1 pound cooked chicken breast , diced
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup sliced Kalamata Olives , rinsed and drained
- 1/4 finely minced preserved lemon , flesh discarded; thoroughly rinse the peel before mincing
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup finely chopped dried apricots
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup chopped slivered almonds
- 1 teaspoon mild curry powder
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon harissa
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Place all the ingredients except for the chicken in a bowl and stir to combine. Pour the mixture over the chicken in a large mixing bowl and stir to thoroughly coat the chicken. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
- Enjoy as a sandwich filling or as an appetizer serve it scooped into endive leaves or sliced croissant rounds (place a small piece of lettuce on the croissant slices to add color, texture and to prevent the croissant from getting soggy).
Originally published on The Daring Gourmet July 31, 2016