Chicken seems to be a favorite in our house; I am surrounded by people who are protein hungry. They seem to think the only way to get their protein is from a chicken. I was in MN a few weeks ago and went to Freshii, they have some very interesting rice salad bowls. Beautiful in look and delicious in taste, so I thought why not try making a few of my own. In my journey to keep experimenting with whole grains, these two salads I have done with barley and wild rice mix. I try to marinate all the chicken at once, not a fan of sanitizing the kitchen more than once with the chicken stuff. I have to channel my butcher mode to do anything with chicken, and I am super paranoid with getting ill or making others ill with my food. Also, chicken marinated and kept in the fridge or freezer tastes better. I have always wanted to make my jerk seasoning, but the number of ingredients involved in it makes me feel like buying a bottle is much easier. So for this I have used bottle jerk seasoning. Also I found a new site World Spice Merchants. I ordered a few blends from there and the second salad here has the chicken marinated in the Kashmir curry spices. As I say with all recipes these are just ideas, I am sure you have plenty of spices in your cabinet that can go with chicken. I enjoyed the curry blend from the site and the chicken tasted really good. I however ended up making one mistake that surprisingly tasted well with the dish. Usually with Indian dishes or curry I add Kasturi Methi (Fenugreek leaves), but in a hurry I got my containers mixed up and I ended up using Spanish oregano instead. Which changed the taste a bit but for good. So here are the ingredients and method for both salads.
Jerk Chicken Salad with Barley
- 4 cups cooked barley (I used 10 minute quick barley from Trader Joes, and boiled it with chicken stock)
- 1 lb. chicken breast (marinated with jerk seasoning)
- 1 green bell pepper
- 6 green onions
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
- 1 tsp. dry thyme
- 1 cup boiled pigeon peas (I love the texture of pigeon peas)
- 2 tsp. lime juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
Marinate the chicken – clean, wash, and dry the chicken. I always poke holes in the chicken and then massage the marinade (sometimes I even talk to the chicken while massaging, but that is just me). I let it sit in the freezer for a few days, just let it marinate at least for a day.
Preheat oven at 425F, bake the chicken for 30-35 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked. Let it cool for a bit and cut it in small pieces. You can choose to shred the chicken if you want; my critics here prefer theirs diced.
Once you have that done, the rest is very simple. Mix all the ingredients together. You can eat it cold or warm; it all depends on the day and what you prefer.
My second salad on this post is the Kashmiri curry rice salad
- 1 lb. chicken (I used chicken breast)
- ½ cup nonfat yogurt
- 1 tbsp. ginger and garlic
- 2 tsp oregano (mine was Spanish you can feel free to use the one you have)
- 3 tbsp. Kashmir curry powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all the ingredients other than the chicken, taste the marinate. Adjust as per your liking. Add and marinate the chicken for a few hours or overnight.
- 3 cups wild rice blend cooked as per the package instructions
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- ½ red onion pickled (Chop the onion in half-moons, add red wine vinegar, salt and sugar and let it sit)
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tsp. dry mint (You can use fresh if you have that)
- 2 tsp. sumac
Preheat oven to 425F, bake the chicken for 30-35 minutes or until done. Once the chicken has cooled down, cut or shred the chicken as you prefer.
Mix the rest of the ingredients, and serve. This gets better as it stays in the fridge; you can eat it cold or warmed up. Either way it was a hit!
Hope you enjoy these recipes and I am trying my best to measure the ingredients out. I always like more spice to my dishes, but if you don’t feel free to change it. After all you are eating the dish, so you should like it.