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Otto’s Chicken & Rice Salad

ottolenghi's chicken and rice salad

About the recipe

Awhile back, the kitchn shared several recipes from Yottam Ottolenghi, a British-based chef, restaurant owner, and cookbook writer who creates amazing middle eastern inspired recipes. When I saw his Roast Chicken and Three Rice Salad, I immediately added the ingredients to my grocery list. I’ve made it many times this summer, and it always gets rave reviews when I bring it to dinners with friends and family, but I love making a big batch of it for myself and my husband for a week’s worth of lunches.

Because, if you’re like me, you’ll make sure everyone around you is fed a healthy meal and then grab a handful of crackers and a stick of cheese for your own lunch.

chicken and rice salad

This salad is hearty, incredibly flavorful, and, while it can be eaten hot, I prefer it chilled: perfect for busy moms everywhere.

The original recipe calls for fried onion, but I like raw because it’s so fresh and crispy. It also calls for shiso leaves, but I think those are hard to find, so I’ve subbed arugula or this pepper salad mix from Organic Girl.

make ahead salad

The Chicken

If you want to streamline the cooking process even more, feel free to grab a rotisserie chicken; however, if you have a few minutes to prep a bird, it’s a piece of cake to roast your own with my recipe for Perfect Roast Chicken.

make ahead lunch

We’ve been buying pasture-raised chickens from a local farm, and I can’t recommend them enough. If you’re curious about where to find the happiest chickens near you, check out Eat Wild – it’s a great resource for finding local, sustainable agriculture.

This salad takes a little bit of time to put together, but it’s so worth it – you’ll have delicious one-dish lunches all week. Let’s get started!

lunch ideas for moms

You’ll need a roast chicken; wild, brown, and basmati rice; lemons; chile peppers or a jalapeno; some peppery greens…

lunch ideasa ton of cilantro…

ottolenghi make ahead lunch

and a few things for the dressing.


Yield: about 8 servings

Otto's Chicken and Rice Salad

Make this salad and have fresh, flavorful lunches for days!


1 recipe Perfect Roast Chicken

1 1/2 c. basmati rice

3/4 c. wild & brown rice blend

1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

6 green onions, thinly sliced

4 mild red chiles, seeded and cut into thin strips, or 1 jalapeno, seeded and cut into strips

3 cups cilantro, chopped

handful of arugula leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing:
4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil

salt and pepper


  1. While the chicken is roasting, cook the rice. I use my rice cooker, but you can cook it on the stove according to the directions on the bag if you prefer.
  2. Carve the meat from the chicken or simply tear it off in largish chunks. Put it in a bowl large enough to hold the whole salad.
  3. To make the dressing, in a separate bowl, whisk all the dressing ingredients together with the cooking juices from the chicken. Pour the dressing over the chicken and set aside.
  4. Peel the onion and slice into thin rings. If your onion is particularly potent, soak the rings in ice cold water for a few minutes.
  5. Add the rices, onion and green onions, chiles, chopped herbs, and arugula to the chicken. Mix well, then taste and add salt and pepper as desired. Serve warm or chilled, straight out of the fridge.

chicken and wild rice lunch



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