Blackened Chicken Salad

Chuck Hughes’ crispy blackened chicken salad, drizzled with French vinaigrette is bursting with flavour!

Easy, Moderate, Complex

Note: The remaining blackened chicken wings will be used as a garnish for the chicken meatball soup.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Inactive Prep time: 1-8 hours

Yield: 4 servings


  • For the blackened chicken
    • 4 chicken drumsticks
    • 4 chicken wings (As a garnish for the chicken meatball soup)
    • 4 chicken thighs, deboned
    • 2 tablespoon smoked paprika (30 ml)
    • 1 tablespoon smoked sea salt (15 ml)
    • 1 tablespoon coriander, ground (15 ml)
    • 1 tablespoon black pepper, ground (15 ml)
    • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (2 ml)
    • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil (30 ml)
  • For the French vinaigrette
    • 1/2 cup canned tomato soup, undiluted (125 ml)
    • 1/4 cup ketchup (60 ml)
    • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (45 ml)
    • 2 tablespoons honey (30 ml)
    • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (15 ml)
    • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (5 ml)
    • 1 shallot, minced
    • 1 garlic, minced
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (125 ml)
    • Salt and pepper
    • 2 tablespoon water (30 ml), if needed
  • For the salad
    • 1 romaine lettuce head
    • 1 red onion, minced
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil (45 ml)
    • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar (5 ml)
    • 1/2 cup radishes, julienned (125 ml)
    • 1/4 cup fresh flat parsley, chopped (60 ml)
    • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano (15 ml)
    • 1 tablespoon fresh basil (15 ml)
    • Salt and pepper


  1. For the blackened chicken: combine all the spices in a bowl.  Evenly rub the chicken pieces with the spice mixture, the garlic and the olive oil.  Place in a large re-sealable plastic bag or a bowl covered in plastic wrap. Keep in the refrigerator for one hour or overnight for a more intense flavor.
  2. Preheat oven to 350˚ F (180˚ C)
  3. In a cast iron skillet heat enough vegetable oil to coat the whole bottom of the pan on high heat. The pan will be ready when it starts to gently smoke. First place chicken drumsticks in the skillet (they take the longest to cook) and blacken all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the chicken pieces and continue in the same manner for another 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and place skillet in the oven for 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven, set aside and keep warm.
  4. For the French vinaigrette: Using a blender, blend all the ingredients together and slowly add the oil until it emulsifies and becomes thick and creamy.  Season with salt and pepper and blend again.  Add a little bit of water if the vinaigrette is too thick.  Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator. The vinaigrette can be made ahead and will be good for up to one week.
  5. For the salad: In a bowl, mix together the romaine lettuce with the red onions, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the chicken thighs from the skillet and slice lengthwise, then toss into the salad. Mix well and set aside
  6. For the garnish: In another bowl, mix together the radishes, herbs and the remaining olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.
  7. For serving: Dress the plates with the romaine and chicken thigh salad mix.  Top each plate with a blackened chicken drumstick and garnish with the radish salad.  Drizzle with the French vinaigrette and serve.