Spicy Chicken, Cucumber and Apricot Salad 4.000

James M. Thresher for The Washington Post

Nourish Mar 18, 2009

I'm always looking for new ways to make chicken salad, especially ones that don't involve creamy, mayonnaise-based dressings.

This salad looks as good as it tastes. The main ingredient, which is broiled instead of poached, gets a spicy kick from an orange juice and mustard rub. The dressing has a tangy combination of orange and mustard. The dill brings a wonderful fresh flavor, the cucumber adds its crunchy texture and the dried apricots lend color and flavor.

Make Ahead: The salad needs at least 2 to 3 hours' refrigeration so the dressing has time to flavor the chicken and rehydrate the dried fruit. It can be assembled and refrigerated up to 12 hours in advance.

Servings: 4 - 6
  • For the salad
  • 2 teaspoons powdered mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced or pounded into cutlets 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick
  • 6 ounces seedless or English cucumbers (unpeeled), cut into 1/4-inch rounds, then cut each round into 1/4-inch sticks (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 scallions, white and light-green parts only, cut crosswise into thin slices (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/3 cup (2 ounces) dried unsulphured unsweetened apricots, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • For the dressing
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 medium orange (2 teaspoons zest and 1/2 cup juice)
  • 1/2 small bunch of dill, finely chopped (2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


For the salad: Whisk together the mustard, pepper, salt, orange juice and oil in a shallow dish; mix well. Add the chicken cutlets; turn them to coat evenly and let them stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Position the top oven rack 4 to 6 inches from the broiling element and preheat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan with aluminum foil.

Arrange the chicken cutlets in a single layer on the foil. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes, then use tongs to turn the cutlets over. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until cooked through and just lightly browned.

Let the chicken cool for 10 minutes, then cut it into 1-inch-long pieces that are about 1/4-inch wide; the pieces should be about the same size as the apricots and cucumber. Place in a large bowl, along with the cucumber, scallions and apricots.

For the dressing: Whisk together the mustard, sugar, pepper, salt, orange zest and juice, and dill in a medium bowl. Add the oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until well blended. Pour the dressing over the salad, stirring to make sure the salad ingredients are evenly coated.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Before serving, stir to redistribute the dressing.

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Recipe Source

From columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

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