Tahini and Charred Chicken Salad Recipe

Juicy chicken thighs are dressed in a herbaceous, nutty marinade, then tossed with fresh lettuce and crunchy breadcrumbs in this bright, savory salad.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Servings: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 1 ½ hours


⅓ cup|95 grams tahini
4 tablespoons|60 ml fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 garlic clove, mashed into a paste
12 ounces|375 grams boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon minced cilantro stems
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
10 tablespoons|150 ml olive oil
4 ounces|113 grams country bread, cubed
7 ounces|198 grams yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
4 ounces|113 grams mixed leaf lettuce, torn


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the tahini, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, the cilantro leaves, coriander, 1 teaspoon salt, the garlic, and 2 tablespoons water. Add half of the marinade to a large bowl with the chicken and the cilantro stems. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk an additional 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 to 2 tablespoons water, and 3 tablespoons oil into the remaining marinade and season with salt and pepper. Set the dressing aside.
  3. Place the bread into a food processor and pulse until you get ¼-inch pieces. Heat 4 tablespoons oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add the bread and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden all over, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to cool completely. Wipe the skillet clean.
  4. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in the skillet and, working in batches, cook the chicken, flipping once, until charred and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes per batch. Using tongs, transfer to a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes, then slice into strips and season with salt. 
  5. To serve, toss the tomatoes and lettuces with the dressing, breadcrumbs, chicken, and sesame seeds. Divide among plates and enjoy.

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