Chicken Salad
 with Avocado Ranch Dressing

  • 4
  • 20 minutes
  • 10 minutes

When I opened my first restaurant more than 20 years ago, we made a grilled chicken Caesar salad and we sold more of these than any other item on the lunch menu.

Course: Entrée / Main
Recipe contains:

  • Avocado ranch dressing
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and mashed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut cream
  • 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon each chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley and dill
  • 1 teaspoon fermented mustard or Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 2 tablespoons duck fat, or coconut oil, melted
  • Salad
  • 4 celery hearts with leaves, chopped
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 heads Belgian endive, leaves separated and torn
  • 1 large handful each of frisée leaves and mâche leaves
  • ½ bunch of tarragon leaves, torn
  • 40 g raisins
  • 30 g walnuts, activated, toasted, and coarsely chopped
  • 80 ml good-quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
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The great thing about salads is that you don’t need a huge amount of protein – 60–90 grams per person is more than satisfying when you also include heaps of fresh salad leaves, vegetables, nuts, seeds and an amazing dressing. I always cook up more chicken than I need when doing a roast chook, so that I have some left over to use in salads like this.

To make the ranch dressing, combine the avocado, 4 tablespoons water, oil, coconut cream, vinegar, parsley, dill, mustard, and onion powder in a food processor and process until smooth. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Transfer the dressing to a bowl, cover, and place in the refrigerator until needed.


Preheat the oven to 200°C.


Rub the chicken with some of the ghee and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large frying pan with the remaining ghee and sear the chicken, skin side down, until crisp and lightly golden, 2 minutes. Turn over the chicken and sear the other side until lightly golden, 1 minute. Place the chicken on a baking sheet and roast, skin side up, for 7 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Remove the crispy skin from the chicken and slice the skin into small strips. Slice the flesh into 1 cm slices and set aside.


To make the salad, combine the celery, apples, endive, frisée, mâche, tarragon, raisins, and walnuts in a bowl. Mix together the oil and vinegar and drizzle over the salad. Add the chicken slices and crispy skin strips and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

To serve


To serve, transfer the salad to a serving platter or bowl and drizzle over some of the avocado ranch dressing. Pass the remaining dressing on the side.