An exciting twist on the classic chicken salad, the addition of warm Indian spices combined with peppery tarragon and creamy avocado coolness make this sandwich worth remembering.
For the Marinade:
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1½ to 2 tablespoons brown sugar
For the Salad:
1 unpeeled red apple, seeds removed and medium diced
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1 large shallot, peeled, finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced (optional)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
2 teaspoons freshly minced garlic
1 tablespoon freshly minced ginger
3 small or 2 large avocados, pitted & diced
½ cup chopped rosemary Marcona almonds
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
For the Curried Mustard Sauce:
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup mayonnaise
¾ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon curry powder
For Assembling the Wraps:
10 to 12 pita flatbreads
To Prepare the Marinade:
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, 1 tablespoon olive oil, mustard, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and brown sugar. Add the chicken to the marinade, turning to coat the thighs on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place the marinating chicken in the refrigerator for at least two hours and up to overnight.
Is a marinade necessary? The best marinades have both an oil and an acid to tenderize and flavor meat. Characteristically, poultry takes on the flavors better than any other meat, which offers a greater range of marinade options. In addition, the brown sugar aids in caramelization, also known as the Maillard Reaction, that transpires when the meat cooks. In short, the marinade makes all the difference.
To Prepare the Salad:
In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped apples, shredded cabbage, shallot, jalapeño, tarragon, garlic, and ginger. Gently fold in the avocados, almonds, and Parmesan cheese.
To Cook the Chicken:
Heat a grill pan or skillet over high heat with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Remove the thighs to the heated pan and discard the remaining marinade. Sear the chicken on each side until the internal temperature of the thighs reaches 165°F, about 5 to 7 minutes on each side, and caramelizes. Remove the pan from the heat. Place the chicken on a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes. Roughly chop the chicken and fold in with the prepared salad ingredients.
To Prepare the Curried Mustard Sauce:
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, salt, rice vinegar, and curry powder until well-blended and achieves a smooth consistency. Fold the prepared sauce into the chicken salad mixture.
To Assemble the Wraps:
In a grill pan or skillet over medium heat, place the pita bread to warm. Place approximately ½ cup chicken salad on the warm pita and roll into a cone. Sprinkle with curry powder and serve immediately.
Recipe Created and Stylized by R. Shannon Mock
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