Chefs' Recipes

Shane Delia's poached chicken salad with harissa, eggplant, spring onion and tahini

Double dressing? In one corner, the nuttiness of the Maha East chef's tahini dressing; in the other, the one-two spicy punch of the harissa and lemon.

By Shane Delia
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 15 mins cooking (plus cooling)
  • Serves 4 - 6
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Shane Delia's poached chicken salad with harissa, eggplant, spring onion and tahini
The Maha East chef shares his recipe for this poached chicken salad, layered with smoky eggplant, spice and a nutty tahini dressing.


  • 2 chicken breasts (about 200gm each), trimmed
  • 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock, chilled
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 1 large eggplant, cut into 1cm dice
  • 3 spring onions, sliced
  • 50 gm (⅔ cup) roasted flaked almonds
  • 30 gm roasted sesame seeds
  • ½ cup (loosely packed) coriander
Tahini dressing
  • 55 gm tahini
  • 2 tsp lemon juice, plus extra to serve
  • 1¾ tsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1¾ tsp maple syrup
Harissa dressing
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • Juice of ½ small lemon
  • 1 small golden shallot, finely diced
  • ¼ tsp harissa paste
  • 1 tsp coriander, finely chopped


  • 1
    Place chicken in a saucepan with stock and 500ml cold water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and simmer until chicken is almost cooked through (5-6 minutes). Remove from heat and leave chicken to cool completely in stock, then remove chicken from stock and refrigerate until required, reserving stock for another use (stock will keep frozen for a month).
  • 2
    Meanwhile, for the tahini dressing, whisk ingredients and 1 tbsp water in a bowl, adding a little extra water as necessary, until a thick, smooth dressing.
  • 3
    For harissa dressing, mix ingredients (except coriander) in a bowl and season to taste. Stir coriander through just before serving.
  • 4
    Heat oil in a frying pan over high heat until smoking. Add eggplant, season with salt to taste and stir until golden brown and softened (5-10 minutes). Transfer to a large bowl.
  • 5
    Cut chicken into 1cm dice and add to eggplant with spring onion, almonds and 2-3 tbsp harissa dressing. Toss well and season with salt and lemon juice to taste.
  • 6
    Spread tahini dressing onto a serving platter, top with chicken and eggplant mixture, sprinkle with sesame seeds and top with coriander. Serve with extra harissa dressing on the side.