Smoky Vegetable Salad with Spicy Chicken

Smoky Vegetable Salad with Spicy Chicken

Enjoy this delicious summer salad bursting with flavours of the Middle East and Ethiopia. Smoky tender char-grilled vegetables, nutty chickpea, perfumed preserved lemon, and fragrant herbs. The salad served with a super tender grilled chicken breast, pre-marinated in spicy Ethiopian Mamia’s sauce. 

A few months ago I had a very long flight to Europe with 3 meals, can you imagine! I rarely enjoyed the plane meal, but this flight has been very special – I got not only fresh and delicious meals, but I also got inspiration. All legumes in salads were cooked perfectly and had the right texture. It was lentils, chickpeas, and Cannellini beans so full of flavour. So I banned all tasteless, mushy canned legumes after my trip, now I use only freshly cooked. For this salad, I used dried chickpea from the nearest Indian grocery store. I soaked it in the water overnight, then cooked in pressure cooker about 20 minutes. Taste of freshly cooked chickpea is absolutely divine!

Mamia`s sauces are vegan-friendly. Prepared with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. Sauces available in three options: medium spicy, mild and kiwi hot.

Mamia’s sauce is extraordinary flavourful and extremely unique. Ethiopian food is one of the most exciting cuisines in the world. Mamia’s sauce is made using authentic Ethiopian recipe with spices sourced directly from Ethiopia. The sauce is surprisingly good during the summer, I like to pair it with Middle Eastern cuisine. That chicken salad, it’s never enough, I cook this recipe every week.


For the Spicy Chicken:
For the Smoked Vegetable Salad:
  • 2 cups cooked chickpea
  • 4 red capsicum (I use king sweeties)
  • 1 big eggplant (or two small)
  • 1/4 of medium-size preserved lemon, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup black olives, cut into halves
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 bunch of herbs (coriander leaves, Italian parsley), finely chopped
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Lemon Juice
To Serve:


SALAD: Place the chicken breasts in a ziplock plastic bag, generously sprinkle with salt, pour in the buttermilk and Mamia’s sauce. Mix gently, squeeze out excess air, and seal the bag. When chicken breasts are marinated in a plastic bag and all of the air sealed out, the marinade completely surrounds the chicken. This promotes an even marinate of your chicken from top to bottom and allows maximum penetration from all sides. Place the chicken breasts on a rimmed plate and let them rest for about 24 hours. Pull the chicken from the fridge an hour before you plan to cook it.

Preheat the grill. Prick the capsicum and eggplant using a sharp knife, then place directly over hot side of grill and cook, turning occasionally, until charred on all sides and fully tender. Put the peppers and eggplant into a soup pan and close with a lid tightly, allowing them to sweat for about 20 minutes. Once done, the blackened, charred skin should slide easily off the peppers and eggplant until you’re left with just the roasted flesh. Remove and discard the stalks and capsicum seeds, roughly chop the vegetables.

Combine all ingredients for salad in a big bowl. Season with salt, freshly cracked black pepper and lemon juice. Mix gently.

CHICKEN: Remove chicken breasts from marinade. Cook the chicken breasts on preheated grill until golden-brown all sides, turning occasionally. Don’t overcook the chicken, otherwise, you will get the rubber-like texture. For best result use meat thermometer. The safe internal temperature for cooked chicken is 75°C.

Let chicken rest about 5 minutes, then slice and arrange on top of the salad. Sprinkle the salad with dukkah. Serve warm, with a dollop of Mamia’s sauce.

* Recipes and Photos by Crazy-Cucumber
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