Potato salad

Persian Chicken & Potato Salad

Some of you may know that I grew up in the sunny, beach city of Perth, Western Australia (I moved to Melbourne in my early 20s). Most of my childhood memories are centred around going to the beach or different parks on the weekends with my family and a bunch of family friends. It felt like nearly every weekend we would pack up some food and take a drive out to the beach or the park and spend pretty much the entire day there.

We would eat, swim, play, eat some more, swim, play, eat… and so on. Often on these outings my mum would make what we Persians call ‘Salad Olivieh’ or ‘Persian Chicken and Potato Salad’, I believe this recipe takes its name from the Russian ‘Olivier Salad’ and uses simple everyday ingredients, some of which you may already have ready, to create a delicious creamy chicken salad that makes an excellent food to take on an outing or to serve up at your next spring/summer party! Making this dish took me right back to my days growing up in Perth and is one of my favourite dishes I grew up eating!

This ‘Persian Chicken and Potato Salad’ can be put together pretty quickly depending on how many of the elements you may already have in your fridge. For e.g. it uses shredded chicken so if you are someone who cooks up a whole chicken… or two because you just happen to be a food prepping rockstar then you can put aside the required amount for this recipe, or maybe you make a batch of hard boiled eggs each week, well guess what? This salad also uses hard boiled eggs so that could also be one less step you have to take to make this recipe!

For the purposes of this post though I will assume that you don’t have everything prepared. I will say this though, for this particular one I made that you see photographed I made things easy on myself and went and bought a organic whole cooked chicken at Whole Foods because I wanted to make and photograph this recipe for you guys ASAP and didn’t have time to cook a whole chicken myself. So what I’m trying to say here is that you can DEFINITELY make things easier on yourself and pick up an already cooked whole chicken if you don’t have any ready to go in your fridge. I know some people make this dish with chicken breast only but I find that using a whole chicken gives it much more flavour because you can use different parts of the chicken.

This salad also uses mayonnaise as the base for its dressing. Let me tell you, after I switched to eating real food I avoided mayo like the plague! Why? Because every single time I tried to find a mayo in the grocery store they ALL ended up having a long list of not so great terrible ingredients and of course most of the mayo you find at the shops uses vegetable oils, even if some of them have a BIG sticker on the front saying ‘Made with Olive Oil’ (usually when you flip it over to read the ingredients you’ll see it was blended with a vegetable oil as well!) So like I said I avoided it for a long time, then I tried making my own a few times but I could never manage to pull it off, or I would use my Vitamix and it would turn out great but then I’d have to scrape the mayo out of the vitamix and end up losing some of it. Since then I’ve perfected my mayo making and use an immersion hand blender instead to make my ‘3 Minute Homemade Mayo’ that works perfectly for me every time! Of course if you really just don’t want to make your own mayo then this one is your best bet for buying!

One last note before I share the recipe… obviously this ‘Persian Chicken and Potato Salad’ uses potatoes… duh! But if you are completely against using potatoes or you just don’t like them then maybe try using something else, like parsnips or even cauliflower. I’ve also tried this with sweet potato and it gives it a sweeter flavour, so you have options 🙂

PERSIAN CHICKEN AND POTATO SALAD (SALAD OLIVIEH)

Author: Nazanin Kovacs
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: Persian
Ingredients
FOR THE SALAD:
  • 1lb/453g Russet potatoes
  • 3 eggs
  • 12oz/340g cooked shredded chicken
  • 4oz/113g kalamata or other seedless olive (green olives work well here), roughly chopped
  • 9oz/255g frozen organic peas and carrots, thawed (I used an organic variety with peas and shredded carrots
  • 8oz/226g dill pickles, small diced
FOR THE DRESSING:
  • 1.5 – 2 cups mayonnaise (see the recipe for my ‘3 MINUTE HOMEMADE MAYO’)
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup avocado oil
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • Sea salt & black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Make 2 batches of my ‘3 MINUTE HOMEMADE MAYO’ recipe (PLEASE see note at the bottom of THIS recipe).
  2. Place potatoes in a large pot with a lid. Add enough cold water to just cover the potatoes. Place on a high heat and bring to a boil.
  3. Once the water has come to a boil reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot with a lid and cook for 40 minutes or until the potatoes are softened but still holding their shape.
  4. Drain and rinse under cold water. Allow to cool before removing the skins. Place in the fridge to cool completely.
  5. While the potatoes are cooling add about an inch/2cm of water to a medium pot (one that will fit a steamer insert).
  6. Place over high heat until the water comes to a boil. Place a steamer basket carefully into the pot and carefully add in the eggs.
  7. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to medium and steam for 10-12 minutes.
  8. A few minutes before the eggs are done, fill a large mixing bowl with cold water and add in some ice cubes.
  9. Once eggs are done, carefully move them to the ice water to completely cool down for 10-15 minutes.
  10. Once cooled peel and refrigerate until potato has completely cooled down.
  11. Place shredded chicken into a large mixing bowl.
  12. Roughly chop and add in the potatoes and eggs.
  13. Add in the kalamata or green olives, organic peas and carrots and dill pickles.
  14. Season with some sea salt and black pepper and mix through.
  15. In a separate smaller mixing bowl add in the 1.5 – 2 cups of the mayonnaise you made earlier, the lemon juice, avocado oil and Dijon mustard.
  16. Season with a bit more sea salt and black pepper and mix.
  17. Pour dressing over the ingredients in the large mixing bowl and mix well.
  18. Taste to check for seasoning.
  19. Place in a glass dish (I used a square pyrex dish) and cover.
  20. Place in the fridge to cool down for a couple of hours or preferably over night so that all the flavours meld together.
  21. Top with some fresh grated carrot if desired.
  22. Serve cold.
NOTE ON THE ‘3 MINUTE HOMEMADE MAYO’:
The recipe listed makes 1 cup, so for this ‘Persian Chicken Potato Salad’ I made a double batch of it. If you’re using 1.5 cups for the salad then you’ll have some left over which you can store in the fridge. Also I made each batch individually and mixed them together because I found it easier that way.

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