21 September 2017Last updated

Food | Recipes

Ramadan entertaining: Chicken, strawberry and candied pecan salad with satay dressing

If you thought a salad could never have a starring role at the table, get ready to be surprised by this fresh and fruity combination that’s packed with flavour and texture

Jasmine Bandali
2 Jun 2017 | 12:00 am
  • Yes, a salad can have a starring role on your iftar table.

    Source:Anas Thacharpadikkal

Serves 8


1 large iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 avocados, diced
1 punnet strawberries, sliced
3 small cucumbers, diced
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice

For the chicken

1kg boneless, skinless chicken breast, butterflied
1 tbsp garlic paste
½ tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp green chilli paste
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sunflower oil

For the candied pecans

1 cup pecan nuts, halved
A pinch of salt
1½ tbsp brown sugar
A few drops vanilla essence
1 ½ tsp water

For the satay dressing

½ cup smooth peanut butter
1 can coconut milk
2 tbsp Sriracha
2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
½ onion, chopped
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp garlic paste
½ tsp ginger paste
¼ cup fresh coriander, chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 180c.

2. Place the chicken breasts in a bowl. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli paste, salt and sunflower oil. Mix thoroughly with your hands to combine.

3. Arrange the chicken breasts in a single layer in a roasting pan. Cover the pan with foil and place in the oven for about 40 minutes.

4. In the meantime, make the dressing. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing except the coriander in a saucepan set over a medium heat. Bring to the boil until everything is combined.

5. Transfer the mixture to a blender and pulse until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a small jug and set aside.

6. Next make the candied pecans. Combine the brown sugar, salt, vanilla and water in a small bowl. It doesn’t matter if the sugar and salt don’t completely dissolve.

7. Line a baking tray with parchment.

8. Toast the pecan halves in a dry pan for 1 to 2 minutes until their aroma is released.

9. Add the sugar mixture to the pan and stir constantly until all the nuts are coated, about 15 seconds.

10. Transfer the nuts to the lined baking tray, spreading them out a much as you can (if some stick together, you can always break them apart once they have cooled). Allow them to cool completely. The longer you leave them, the harder the coating will be. Break apart as necessary when completely cool.

11. Take the chicken out of the oven and remove from the liquid. Allow to cool to a temperature you can handle and shred into thick strips using your hands.

12. Place all of your cut vegetables, strawberries, chicken and candied pecans in a salad bowl. I prefer to leave them in separate sections of the bowl as they look prettier that way. Squeeze over some lemon to prevent the veggies from browning.

13. Dress the salad at the table once your guests arrive and toss through.

Jasmine Bandali

Jasmine Bandali