Spicy roast chicken salad with ciabatta crisps and creamy lemon dressing

Spicy roast chicken salad with creamy lemon dressing

While many of you are bidding summer goodbye, we here in the Southern Hemisphere are welcoming it with open arms. Well, semi-open. You see, spring is my ultimate favourite season. I love that the blooms are blooming and the birds are chirping. I love that my toes don’t feel like they’re going to freeze off and I love the abundance of new fruit and vegetables in my supermarket. What I don’t like is when global warming happens and we go from freezing winter to hot-as-hell summer in a matter of hours. What is even up with that?

Spicy roast chicken salad with creamy lemon dressing

However, I can’t complain too much because the warmer temperatures also mean that I get to make even quicker dinners in the evenings. My ultimate quick, throw-together-dinner is a good salad. Last night I had a few chicken breasts in the fridge and knew they would be turned into a salad of some kind but I didn’t want the usual poached/roasted chicken. I wanted a POW of flavour and then I spotted it. My beloved Sriracha. Man, that stuff is good. So I made a little saucy-marinade of sorts to pour over the chicken before I popped the breasts into a hot oven. 20 minutes later, out they came looking gloriously caramelised and the flavour was just out of this world. In fact, I am going to re-work this recipe a little and turn it into a full roast chicken. Watch this space.

Creamy lemon dressing

Anyway, back to the salad: I served the sliced chicken on a bed of baby lettuce leaves and added sliced avocado, charred corn, perfectly ripe tomatoes and soft goat’s cheese. To add texture, I sliced ciabatta thinly and gave them a quick toast. And then the dressing. Would it be a simple lemon vinaigrette or perhaps something with mustard? I just couldn’t decide but I knew the salad needed some acidity and so I decided to make the simplest dressing in the world. Lemon zest, lemon juice, cream, salt and pepper. That’s it. And the end result? Sooooo good. Like “I-could-eat-this-salad-everyday” good. In fact, this might be one of those recipes that go into regular-rotation at our house. But this time, it won’t be because I’m lazy but because it’s just so damn delicious.

Spicy roast chicken salad with creamy lemon dressing

Spicy roast chicken salad with creamy lemon dressing

Spicy roast chicken salad with ciabatta crisps and creamy lemon dressing

5 from 1 vote
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Course: Salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Author: Alida Ryder
Servings: 4


for the chicken

  • 2 x bone-in chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • pinch of smoked paprika
  • salt & pepper to taste

for the salad

  • ciabatta thinly sliced and toasted
  • baby lettuce leaves
  • sliced avocado
  • ripe tomatoes sliced
  • soft goat's cheese crumbled
  • corn charred in a griddle pan and sliced off the cob

for the dressing

  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 100 ml cream
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Pre-heat the oven to 200°c.
  • Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet.
  • Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together and pour over the chicken.
  • Place the chicken in the oven and allow to roast for 20-25 minutes until the the skin is caramelised and the chicken is cooked through but still succulent.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • Slice the breast off the bone then into thin slices.
  • Arrange the salad ingredients on a large platter.
  • Combine the dressing ingredients then serve alongside the salad.