Chicken salad with figs and almonds

Looking to use up leftover chicken? This chicken and fig salad is tasty and healthy, and ready in under 20 minutes.

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This chicken salad with figs and almonds is the perfect recipe to shake up your midweek dinner routine. Made using leftover chicken, ripe figs, fresh crispy salad leaves and an easy, super tasty dressing, this salad can be on the table in less than 20 minutes.

Love your leftovers

Many of us are trying to reduce food waste, and using up leftovers in new recipes is a fantastic way to do this.

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Chicken is one of the most popular meats in the UK, with roast chicken among our favourite dishes – all year round. But all too often we end up throwing away what we don’t eat immediately.

If that sounds like you, this chicken salad recipe could be your saving grace. It transforms leftover roast chicken into something completely different.

That’s not to say that only chicken from your Sunday roast will work in this recipe. You could use chicken leftover from any recipe. Usually grill chicken? That will work great! Poaching chicken breasts for another recipe? Add in an extra one or two and keep them aside for this salad. You won’t regret it.

Of course, you can also cook up some chicken especially for this salad. But using leftovers that have already been lovingly cooked often adds more flavour to the finished dish.

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How to make this chicken salad with figs and almonds

This recipe is very simple. In fact, it’s little more than assembly. That makes it perfect for a weeknight, or any evening when you don’t have much time.

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Start with your salad leaves. Split the rocket evenly across two plates, then do the same for the mixed leaves. We like to go for a mix of peppery and milder leaves, as well as some softer and some crunchier. But all salad leaves will work in this recipe, so just choose which you prefer.

We’ve given measurements for two portions, but this recipe is easily scaled up or down.

Chop or shred the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the salad along with the chopped cucumber.

In a small bowl or ramekin, add the honey, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a pinch of salt and a generous grinding of black pepper. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon or lime, reserving the other half for later. Whisk lightly with a fork until combined.

Pour the dressing over the chicken and greens and toss so that everything’s evenly coated in delicious dressing.

Now finish with the ripe figs and chopped almonds, and shave or grate over the parmesan. It seems like a small amount of cheese but believe us, it’s all you need.

And voila! A delicious dinner for two, ready in a little over 10 minutes. Serve sprinkled with juice from the remaining lemon or lime half, some extra black pepper, and a small wholemeal roll if you are particularly hungry.

Chicken salad with figs and almonds

Serves 2

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INGREDIENTS

100g rocket

100g mixed salad leaves

200g cooked chicken (white meat)

½ cucumber, halved and thinly sliced

4 ripe figs, destalked and quartered

30g parmesan

60g roughly chopped almonds (unsalted)

Optional: 2 crusty wholemeal rolls

For the dressing:

Juice of ½ a lemon or lime

1tsp honey

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

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2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

METHOD

1. Divide the rocket and salad between two plates. Add the chicken and cucumber.

2. Mix together the dressing ingredients, whisking lightly with a fork. Pour half over each plate and toss to coat evenly.

3. Top with the quartered figs, thinly sliced or grated parmesan and roughly chopped almonds. Serve with crusty wholemeal bread, if you like, and wedges of lemon or lime for squeezing.

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