Thursday, April 25, 2013

Moroccan Chicken and Date Salad With Avocado Dressing

I love the taste of middle eastern and northern African foods. The spice mixes from the region are so sweet and savory! I have been brainstorming what to do with my latest discovery in frugal shopping, the whole chicken fryer. The fryer is a small chicken complete with innards and all the makings and look of a Thanksgiving turkey. It is very inexpensive for the amount of meat involved and when I saw them for .88 a pound last week I bought several to freeze!
So what do you do with a whole chicken? I'm not one to keep the innards so I tossed them away. Maybe I should give them to the dog? I don't know. Anyway, I cooked mine up like it was November, breast up with lots of seasoning on the skin. 375 in the oven for and hour and forty five minutes gave me a beautiful bird. I let it cool and took the meat off and shredded it in a bowl. I split the meat into several pounds and plan on using them in fajitas and salads over the weekend. I used a little less than a pound of the shredded meat for the chicken salad I had my brain on.

A few years ago I had a woman from Syria as a teacher aid in my classroom. We had an international heritage food day during my nutrition unit and invited my diverse class to share the foods of their homes. My aid brought Tabbouleh and a savory rice dish with a blend of spices she could not define in English.  This left me so frustrated because it was an amazing mix!  After a few years and a bunch of Google searches I was still on page one until I found McCormick's Moroccan blend of spices. It may not be a match but it is pretty close!
The taste of the blend gave me the inspiration for my chicken salad. It turned out wonderful! Full of apples and dates along with avocado and celery, it gives a hat tip to my roots of the south with a nice kick in the taste buds from across the pond.

Moroccan Chicken and Date Salad With Avocado Dressing
 3/4 pound cooked shredded chicken
1 medium gala apple diced
1-2 stalks chopped celery
4-5 pitted dates chipped
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Moroccan seasoning blend from McCormick's to taste (I was liberal)
a pinch of salt and pepper to taste

1/2 avocado mashed
1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp EVOO

1. Cool chicken in fridge after cooking for at least 2 hours
2. Add that stuff in
3. Mix it up

1. Mash avocado
2. Add the stuff.
3. Mix the turds out of it.

Add all that together and put it back in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Like my directions? Why complicate things right?

I had to drive off to grab the kiddos from school and had it waiting as an afternoon snack. It was a nice treat after sitting in a school parking lot for an hour. I hope you try it out and let me know what you think?!

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