Char-grilled chicken breasts with chickpea salad

Serves: 4

Char-grilled chicken breasts with chickpea salad

I like raw onion but don’t really want the lingering taste in my mouth for hours after eating it. Nor do the people around me. Soaking the onion in vinegar gets rid of the pungent sulphur flavour and turns the onion a beautiful, almost Schiaparelli pink. If you haven’t got any ras el hanout you could use a blend of ground cumin, paprika, crushed fennel seeds and garlic salt.


  • ½ red onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar (red or white wine)
  • 2 x 400g tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 preserved lemons, halved, pips removed and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons ras el hanout
Char-grilled chicken breasts with chickpea salad


  1. Place the onion slices in a bowl and pour over the vinegar and a pinch of salt. Leave to soak for 1 hour then drain the onion and pat dry. Set aside.
  2. Place the chickpeas in a bowl and stir in 3 tablespoons of the oil, the preserved lemon, mint and season generously with salt and ground black pepper. Stir in the onion. You can make this in advance and chill until ready to serve.
  3. Place the chicken breasts between 2 sheets of cling film and beat out with a rolling pin until the meat is about 1cm thick. Place in a dish and drizzle over the remaining tablespoon of oil. Rub in the ras el hanout and leave for 15 minutes.
  4. Heat a griddle pan until smoking hot. Cook the chicken breasts for about 3-4 minutes then turn over and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a baking tray and keep them warm in a low oven while you cook the remaining breasts-I can only cook 2 at a time on my griddle. Serve with the chickpea salad and perhaps some dressed salad leaves on the side.
Char-grilled chicken breasts with chickpea salad