Chicken Salad and Harissa Dressing

The first few days of Ramadan I am always excited to prepare meals that we rarely have during the rest of the year.  However by the end of the first week I start to notice bits and pieces of leftovers in my fridge and my enthusiasm begins to wane. Some of my favorite dinners are conceived using leftovers and pantry items that are taking up space.  Normally I don’t serve leftovers to guests but sometimes a last minute visit occurs and I don’t have a lot of time to prepare a big meal.

This salad was born with that thought in mind. With a little re-purposing and the help of Saffron Road hors d’oeuvres I took leftovers up a notch.  Your guests will be impressed (and satisfied) with this salad and it only takes 15 minutes to prepare!


  • Baked or rotisserie chicken
  • Your favorite lettuce mix
  • sliced cucumbers
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • optionally you could add pepper slices, zucchini, carrot slices or any other raw vegetables on hand
  • Chinese rice noodles
  • vegetable oil for frying the noodles
  • Saffron Road Date, Tamarind and Walnut Hors d’oeuvres 

For the dressing

  • 1 tsp harissa
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar


Preheat your oven to 350F and place the Date, Tamarind and Walnut hors d’oeuvres on a cookie sheet. Begin baking these immediately.

Begin heating vegetable oil on medium high.  The oil should be at least 1/4″ deep. Add the rice noodles to a large bowl and top with hot water.  Allow to soak until the threads separate and soften. Remove from the water and place on a napkin or towel to dry off.  Once the oil is hot, grab small bunches of the rice noodles and drop into the oil.  They should fry in small clumps. Once cooked through remove from the oil, back to the blotting paper and reserve for the salad.

To assemble your salad chop and prep all of the ingredients. Layer the ingredients as you wish and top with the toasted sesame seeds and crispy noodles.

To make the harissa dressing, combine of the ingredients listed and whisk together. Depending on the thickness of your harissa you may need to add more water to thin it out.  The dressing should have a little heat but should not be overwhelming. Dress the salad with the harissa sauce.

Remove the hors d’oeuvres from the oven when crispy and plate with the salad.

I really love the contrasts in this salad.  The crispy noodles with the chicken, and the spicy harissa with the sweet of the dates and tamarind. If you’re worried about it being too hot, reduce the amount of harissa you use.

What are some of your favorite meals to use up leftovers?