Sumac Grilled Chicken, Citrus, and Avocado Salad

March 1, 2020 Updated: March 1, 2020

Sumac Grilled Chicken, Citrus, and Avocado Salad

This may be the perfect sunny winter salad: juicy citrus, creamy avocados, crunchy lettuce, and a tangy sumac marinade and dressing. Since the chicken is also great served cold, you can basically make all the elements in advance and assemble it when you’re ready to eat.

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (including minimum marinating time)

Serves 4 

For the chicken:

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh clementine or orange juice (from 2 clementines), plus 3-inch-thick strips of clementine zest 
  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 4 scallions (white and green parts), cut into 2-inch lengths and bruised lightly
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 1 1/2 pounds thin-cut chicken cutlets (about 8 pieces)
  • Canola oil, for greasing the pan or grates

For the dressing (makes 2/3 cup):

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed clementine or orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sumac, plus more for sprinkling

For the salad:

  • 2 medium heads romaine, leaves washed and torn
  • 1 large ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1 medium orange, rind removed, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 clementine, rind removed, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 medium grapefruit, rind removed, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped toasted pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint, or tiny mint leaves

Marinate the chicken: Combine the olive oil, clementine juice and zest, sumac, salt, pepper, scallions, and thyme in a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag. Using your hands, move the ingredients around to incorporate them. Add the chicken to the bag, move it around to coat it, seal the bag, and chill to marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours. Ten to 15 minutes before cooking, remove the chicken from the refrigerator to come to room temperature.

Make the dressing: In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, clementine juice, salt, pepper, and sumac and shake until creamy.

Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade, shake off excess liquid, and season with salt and pepper. Brush the pan or grates with canola oil, then grill the chicken until caramelized and grill marks form, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cool slightly.

Assemble the salad: Arrange the romaine, avocado, and citrus on a platter. Arrange the chicken on the salad, shake the remaining dressing again, and drizzle the dressing on top. Garnish with pomegranate seeds, pistachios, and mint.

Recipe reprinted with permission from “Sababa” by Adeena Sussman, published by Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright 2019 by Adeena Sussman.