This chicken salad with crackling (crispy chicken skin) is a spinoff or variation of coronation chicken, a dish created and served at Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation on June 2, 1953. She became monarch of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Union of South Africa, Pakistan and Ceylon. To this day we still sing God Save The Queen.
As I was researching this recipe I came across a recipe by Jamie Oliver. This recipe in fact. Remade in his style with flair and whimsy. I’ve always loved Jamie’s rustic approach to food. He is one chef I would most definitely like to meet in this lifetime.
After looking at his recipe, I made a few modifications to the salad to suit my family. You could easily add in some curry paste to the greek yogurt for an extra hit of curry love. A good curry paste just makes things taste better. I was thrilled the by the response I received from the family, it was a hit. I was even told this is the best supper ever. Cool Mom over here. *Waving
The first time I prepared this dish for my family I served all the bits in separate bowls, allowing everyone to scoop up what they wanted and assemble their own chicken salad. I also served it with noodles. The second time I tossed the whole lot on a platter and served it with rice. Scoop it up and if you don’t like something, pick it out, is my new motto.
In the end this dish takes just over an hour to make. And I let the chicken marinade for about 30 minutes before it goes into the oven.
- 5-6 chicken thighs, bone-in & skin-on
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 2 tsp ginger, grated
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ lemon, juiced
- ¼ cup almonds or cashews, rough chop
- 1-2 tbsp sesame seeds
- ½ fresh pineapple, peeled, cored & chopped
- ½ cucumber, chopped
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1 fresh red chile or ½ jalapeno, sliced thin
- 2-3 red onion slices
- ¾ cup greek yogurt
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 cup lettuce, torn
- fresh cilantro
- cooked noodles or basmati rice as a side
- In a bowl mix together garam masala, cumin, chili powder, a good drizzle of olive oil, ginger, garlic, lemon and a pinch of salt & pepper. Drop in your chicken and massage spices all over. Let marinate for 30 minutes if you have the time.
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Place chicken in a roasting pan, skin side up. Bake in oven for 45 minutes or until meat pulls away from the bone. You will be left with liquid. Remove chicken from pan and let liquid cool slightly.
- Peel off all pieces of chicken skin from chicken and put skin on a lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and sesame seeds. Place chicken skin back in oven for 8-10 minutes and bake until skin is crispy. Once crispy remove from oven and set aside.
- While your skin is crisping remove & shred chicken from it's bones. Garbage bones and inedible bits. Mix chicken with some of the reserved liquid and set aside.
- Remove the crispy chicken skin from pan and break up into smaller pieces. Set aside.
- Spoon away as much fat as you can and try to scrape aside any bits that are left in the liquid. You can reduce this down a little more in a pot on the stove, and drizzle over the salad before serving, or mix into your cooked noodles to add a flavour burst.
- On your platter sprinkle on your lettuce, chicken, cucumber, red onion, pineapple, green onions, chile and crispy chicken skin. Add some additional sesame seeds and your almonds or cashews and some more cilantro.
- In a small bowl mix together yogurt, lime juice, pinch of salt and about ⅓ cup chopped cilantro. Drizzle over salad or serve as a dressing on the side.