Tahini, a paste made from sesame seeds, is a favourite ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking. Available at most large grocery stores, it adds a nutty taste and thick creaminess to the dressing for
this nutritious tarragon chicken and baby spinach salad.
500 g boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 small bunch fresh tarragon
1 small lemon
3 black peppercorns
2 tablespoons sesame tahini
1 head chicory or other head lettuce
2 cups baby spinach leaves
1⁄4 cup toasted sliced almonds
• Tahini contains 16 grams of fat per 2 tbsp (25 mL). Only a little of the potent ingredient is needed along with the broth to make a very flavourful and unique dressing for this salad.
• Chicory was used by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, both for its medicinal properties and for cooking. It was believed to stimulate the digestive juices and strengthen the liver.
Place the chicken in a shallow pan and pour over the broth. Remove the tarragon leaves from the stalks and set them aside. Lightly crush the stalks with a rolling pin to release their oils, then add to the pan. Remove a small strip of rind from the lemon and add this to the pan with the peppercorns.
Set the pan over medium heat and bring the broth to a boil. Turn down the heat, cover and simmer gently. Cook for 15 minutes or until the chicken is white all the way through.
Remove the chicken breasts using a slotted spoon and leave to cool on a plate. Strain the stock into a cup and discard the tarragon stalks, lemon rind and peppercorns. Set the broth aside. When the chicken has cooled, cut it into thick strips.
Place the tahini in a bowl and whisk in 4 tablespoons of the reserved broth to make a smooth, creamy dressing. If the dressing is a bit thick, add an extra tablespoon of broth. Squeeze the juice from the lemon and stir it into the dressing. Chop enough of the tarragon leaves to make 1 tablespoon, and add to the dressing with pepper to taste.
Cut the chicory or other head lettuce across on the diagonal into slices about 2.5 cm wide. Arrange the chicory and baby spinach in a large salad bowl.
Peel the oranges, then cut between the membrane into segments. Scatter the segments over the salad, followed by the toasted almonds. Place the tarragon chicken strips on top, and spoon over the tahini tarragon dressing. Serve immediately.
preparation time 25 mins
cooking time 15 mins
Each serving provides calories 273, calories from fat 99, fat 11 g, saturated fat 1 g, cholesterol 67 mg,
carbohydrate 14 g, fibre 5 g, sugars 8 g, protein 30 g.
Choices per seving: Carbohydrate 1/2, Meat & Alternatives 4