Food Cart-Style Chicken Salad with White Sauce
Halal Food Cart inspired chicken served over a big salad of lettuce and tomatoes drizzled with a yummy white sauce.
We're obsessed with street-cart Halal chicken, but since all the good chicken trucks are in the city which is over an hour commute from me, I had to figure out a way to make this to make it part of our dinner rotation!
When I worked full-time in New York City, I often hit up the halal chicken trucks for lunch, the smell of the sizzling chicken always lured me in! I usually swapped out the rice for salad and loaded on the white sauce and hot sauce. My husband is also obsessed, and has been asking me to recreate the chicken and white sauce for years.
After many attempts at trying to get the white sauce right, I finally created a version that we all loved, which also happens to be good for you and your gut! I partnered with Stonyfield, my favorite yogurt brand to create this sauce with their new Stonyfield Whole Milk Yogurt with Probiotics, which is so creamy and delicious and so perfect in this sauce. Now there are 1 billion more reasons to love Stonyfield Yogurt even more! And trust me, you might want to double the sauce recipe, it's that good! Is it exactly like the ones you get from the street carts? No, but who cares, we all love it!
How To Make Halal Chicken
If you wish to serve this over rice instead, you certainly can. I would cook up some brown basmati rice in chicken broth to serve on the side. For the hot sauce drizzled on top, I used some prepared harissa and it was perfect.
What is Halal Sauce Made Of?
To figure out the infamous white sauce recipe, my husband actually took a packet of white sauce the last time he ordered out, which listed most of the ingredients on the back. It was easy to figure out mayonnaise was a key ingredient, but the buttermilk powder and spices was pretty vague. A quick search on the internet turned up many recipes I tried, but most had too much mayonnaise and didn't taste right. After several attempts, we all loved this final version made with plain whole milk yogurt (not Greek or low-fat) a touch of mayonnaise, a little lemon juice, vinegar, a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper. And since I'm always looking for ways to incorporate more probiotics in my day, this recipe is a winner!
Tips and Variations
- Can you use 0% yogurt? Sure, but it won't taste as good.
- Can you use chicken breast for halal chicken? Street carts always use chicken thighs, which my family loves because they are moist and juicy. If you prefer breasts, you'll want to cut down on the cook time so it doesn't dry out.
- How long will the white sauce last in the refrigerator? 4 to 5 days should be fine.
- How can you make this for meal prep? Keep the salad and chicken separate so you can heat up the chicken separately if you want to eat it hot. Pack the dressing and hot sauce in small containers. These are the (affil link) I have and love.
Food Cart-Style Chicken Salad with White Sauce
For the chicken:
- 24ouncesabout 4 large boneless, skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/4teaspoonsground cumin
- 1teaspoonolive oil
- 1teaspoonkosher salt
- 3/4teaspoonsweet paprika
White Yogurt Sauce (makes 1 1/4 cups):
- 1cupStonyfield Whole Milk Yogurt with Probiotics
- 1tablespoonapple cider vinegar
- 1teaspoonlemon juice
- 1/8teaspoonblack pepper
For the Salad:
- 6cupschopped iceberg or romaine lettuce
- 2medium tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2small red onion, sliced
- prepared mild harissa, optional for drizzling
- Season the chicken with lemon juice, garlic, cumin, oil, salt and spices. Set aside at least 15 minutes, or as long as overnight.
- Combine the ingredients for the white yogurt sauce and refrigerate.
- When ready to cook, heat a large nonstick griddle or skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add the chicken and leave until the bottom is completely browned, about 5 minutes before flipping.
- Cook on the other side for another 4 to 5 minutes, until browned.
- Reduce the heat to low and let the chicken continue cooking, about 10 minutes, until just about cooked through in the thickest parts (no worries if it's not completely cooked).
- Set aside on a cutting board and chop the chicken into thin strips and add back to the pan to brown and finish cooking, 8 to 10 minutes over medium heat.
- Assemble the salad by dividing the lettuce, tomato and red onion.
- Top with chicken and drizzle with yogurt sauce (this is your dressing) and harissa, if desired.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Stonyfield. Thank you for supporting the brands that make tamil-recipes possible. All thoughts are my own.Photo credit: Jess Larson.