Saffron chicken and herb salad

This saffron chicken and herb salad adapted from a recipe created by the chefs at Ottolenghi in Belgravia is fresh and packed with zingy citrus flavour. It would also work well made with leftover roast chicken or pork.
Course Main Course
Skill Level Easy
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 319kcal
Author Jacqueline Bellefontaine


  • 1 orange
  • 50 g honey
  • ½ tsp saffron strands
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • about 300 ml water
  • 6 chicken breasts skinned and boned (about 150g/5oz each)
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive or rapeseed oil
  • 2 small fennel bulbs thinly sliced
  • 15 g coriander leaves
  • 15 g basil leaves torn into pieces
  • 15 g mint leaves torn into pieces
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 red chilli thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic crushed sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Trim and discard 1cm/½in off the top and bottom of the orange and cut into 12 wedges. Place in a small pan with the saffron, honey, vinegar and enough water to just cover the orange wedges.
  • Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour, at which stage most of the liquid should have evaporated to produce a thick syrup and the orange will be very soft.
  • Use a food processor or liquidiser to blitz to a purée, adding am little more water of required.
  • Flatten the chicken breast between two sheets of cling film or parchment until about 1cm/ ½in thick. Toss with 2 tbsp of the oil some a salt and pepper. Cook on a hot griddle pan for about 5 minutes each side or until the juices run clear when pierced with a knife.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan and allow to cool slightly, then use two forks to shred the chicken into bitesize pieces. Place in a large bowl with half the orange purée and stir well. Add the remaining ingredients and toss together before serving.


The remaining orange dressing can be kept in the fridge for several days. It would work well in a salad of rocket leaves and served with grill fish.
Nutrition information is approximate and is meant as a guideline only. (It does not include seasoning with salt and pepper.) 


Calories: 319kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 222mg | Potassium: 1035mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 615IU | Vitamin C: 42.2mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 2.5mg