I demonstrated this recipe on Georgian TV earlier today, on Rustavi 2’s “Day Show.” It’s quick, colorful, healthy, and simple to make. (Simple enough to make on live TV without worrying that something will come out wrong!) You can watch the clip below in Georgian and English.
Chicken salad is as popular in Georgia as it is in the US, though Georgians don’t typically put it on sandwiches, as I did on the show. This recipe uses Georgian flavors like pomegranate, cilantro, and walnuts to dress up what might otherwise be a fairly bland dish. I love the clean taste of yogurt here instead of the more traditional mayo, but either will work. You can also play with the herbs: parsley, basil, mint, or tarragon would all fit in well here.
Serve the salad as is, stuff it into a baguette, pita pocket, or wrap, or pile it into hollowed-out tomato halves.
Georgian Chicken Salad (Katmis Salati)
1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 ½ tsp. salt
2 stalks celery, finely sliced (or 1 bunch celery leaves, finely chopped)
3 green onions, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
¼ tsp. black pepper
Juice of half a lemon
1 ½ Tbsp. wine vinegar
½ cup plain yogurt (thin, not the thick Greek-style yogurt) or mayonnaise
½ cup walnuts, ground
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup chopped fresh dill
½ cup pomegranate seeds
Lettuce, arugula, or spinach
To make a sandwich:
Baguette, pita pocket bread, or wrap
- Put the chicken in a pot with enough water to cover the pieces by one inch. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer 15 minutes or until cooked through. Remove the chicken to a plate and let cool. Reserve the broth for another use.
- Shred the chicken into thin pieces. In a large bowl, mix the chicken with all the other ingredients except the lettuce or other greens. Adjust seasonings to taste. If you have time, cover the bowl and chill the salad in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
- Serve the salad on a bed of lettuce, arugula, or other greens. For a sandwich, layer the chicken salad and greens on a baguette, stuff inside a pita or roll into a wrap. Alternatively, hollow out halves of tomato and stuff the cups with chicken salad.