Moroccan cherry-chicken salad

Hot under the collar? Take the heat out of the kitchen with a chicken salad made from a grocery-store bought rotisserie bird. Photo by Ashley English

Ashley English is a local blogger (http://www.small-measure.blogspot.com) and author of the “Homemade Living” series from Lark Books (available through Malaprops on Haywood Street or through her blog). English shares her recipe for chicken salad using already-cooked rotisserie chicken for when it’s just too dang hot to cook:

“One of our favorite ‘it's-far-too-ungodly-hot-to-even-look-at-the-stove’ go-to eats during the dog days of summer is rotisserie chicken salad. After picking up a cooked bird from our nearby natural foods store, we'll strip the meat off and blend it many different ways. On my birthday, [my husband] did it up with a curried spice blend, and then served it on fresh wheat bread slathered in mango chutney. HEAVEN!

The other night, we took our chicken to the Mediterranean, partnering it up with olives, cherries, cashews, capers, olive oil and lemon. For a bit of heat, we added harissa, a chili sauce commonly found in North African cuisine (if you don't have harissa, but still want to feel the burn, just use Tabasco instead).”

The goods:
The meat from 1 rotisserie chicken, skinned and cut into small bite-sized bits
6 olives (sliced)
6 cherries (diced)
2-ish tbsp cashew pieces
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp harissa
1 tbsp capers
1 tbsp olive oil
zest of one lemon
Moroccan spice blend*
*We use a concoction from Urban Accents. It's grand. Lacking that, toss in about 2 teaspoons ground coriander, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon mint.

The deal:
Mix the ingredients well.
Serve with fresh tomatoes as a sandwich, in a pita or over lettuce.

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