It’s not in my nature to procrastinate. I’m very much of the “Why leave till tomorrow that which can be done today” mindset. But in the weeks and then days leading up to our move (which I promise to stop talking about soon), I became well versed in procrastination. Maybe it was because I was working so hard at the new house that I had no energy left to do any useful packing. Maybe it was because our closing and the move itself kept getting delayed so much, I never thought it would actually happen. In any case, two days before the move, I decided that a great way to avoid packing would be to make a new recipe, drag out plates, linens, etc. and take photos of it.

Even while I was making it, I was laughing at myself and wondering why I couldn’t tolerate just a few more days of take out. But really, I know exactly why. This is what I love. This is what gives me a sense of normalcy even when everything else seems chaotic and blurred. Of course it also helped that this meal was amazing. I’m not quite sure how I made it this long before ever cooking with garam masala, but I’m so glad to have finally tried it. All the different components in this dish combine to make an awesome meal – the crunchy almonds, sweet apricots and warm spices. It was definitely something new for me and I am so glad I tried it. I’ll be making this again, and often.


  • 1½ lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½-¾ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • ½ tsp. ground coriander
  • Pinch smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1½ cups (1 15 oz. can) cooked chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 shallot, sliced thin
  • ¾ cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
  • 2 hearts of romaine lettuce, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 oz. watercress
  • ½ cup whole toasted almonds, coarsely chopped


  • 01

    Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tbsp. of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the chicken to the pan and brown on the first side, about 6 minutes. Flip to the opposite side, add the water to the pan, and cover. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked through and registers 160˚ F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and let cool slightly. Slice into ½-inch thick slices on a bias. Let cool to room temperature.

  • 02

    Meanwhile, combine 1 tablespoon of the olive oil with the garam masala, coriander and paprika in a liquid measuring cup. Microwave for about 30 seconds until hot and fragrant. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice, the honey, ¼ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Whisking constantly, add in the remaining oil.

  • 03

    In a large bowl, combine cooled chicken, chickpeas, shallot, apricots, parsley and half of the dressing. Toss well to coat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into the dressing and whisk well. In a separate bowl, combine the romaine, watercress, and almonds and toss to mix well. (At this point, the components can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

  • 04

    When ready to serve, drizzle some of the dressing over the greens and toss to coat. Serve the chicken mixture over a bed of the greens, adding more dressing if necessary.

  • Molly

    This yummy looking salad seems to contain many of the flavors and ingredients of chicken tagine – one of my husband’s favorite dishes. He also loves salads for dinner regularly – bingo! Thanks for sharing, even in the midst of life changes:)

  • Katie Myers Fogarty

    Well this sounds absolutely amazing! Thanks, Annie. On the list.

  • We eat a TON of salads here, so I always love a new recipe to try!

  • Kerry @ Kerry Cooks

    Yum! This looks really delicious Annie!

  • Kelsey

    This looks fabulous. I love, love, love garam masala. I’m so glad you love it too. Now we can share recipes using it!

  • annieseats

    For sure! I seriously can’t believe I have gone this long without it because it is fabulous!

  • Shari

    I’m not really a but person and I’ve never had apricots but I trust you lol. Will be trying soon

  • Karen @ The Food Charlatan

    Last March I visited my sister out of state, dragging my two kids with me. You can imagine the chaos of the night before we left. Yet somehow I managed to fit in a double batch of chocolate chip cookies. Just to make life easier, you know. Good luck with the move Annie!

  • Nancy Long

    You had me until chickpeas – I hate them unless made into hummus; that I love!

  • Elizabeth

    This looks so good! I never think to add apricots to a salad, but will definitely be trying this.

  • savvy

    WOW!!! my designer dinner-just when WF has sale on chicken!! THanks!!

  • alicebmail

    Made this last night and it was delicious! Left out the chicken because we were also having avgolemono with chicken in that :) And we love garam masala so much that when I went to make the dressing, I discovered we were out! So… used Sichuan pepper, ground red chiles and allspice instead. Can’t wait to make again and actually use the right spice blend :)

  • Liz @ FloatingKitchen

    Looks like the perfect fall salad! Certainly worthy of unpacking all your props for!

  • Denise

    I made this last night for dinner. I don’t like salad, so I served it hot over rice, and it was really delicious!

  • It’s looking really good! Chickpeas, never thought of it. :-)

  • annieseats

    So glad you enjoyed it!

  • Lindy Dierks

    Annie, this looks fantastic! What’s the bread in the background?

  • annieseats

    Hi Lindy,
    The bread is a wheat naan. I have been meaning to post the recipe. Hopefully will do that soon!