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October 24, 2020

Smoked Chicken Salad with a South African Twist

Posted on October 2, 2009 by in Chicken

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Smoked Chicken is one of those versatile ingredients that can make a great sandwich, give flavor to a pasta dish, is perfect for a fritata or make a wonderful salad. As you all know by know, we are on a bit of a detox after a meat-binging-holiday.
However with hubby putting in a hard days work, he feels like something a little more substantial than just lettuce leaves and a few prawns when he comes home at night. So, to add a little more oompf to his salad, I wanted to add some smoked chicken.  I have always bought my smoked chicken from a reputable supplier, but have never tried making my own. I did not have any smoked chicken in the fridge last night so I decided…”It is now or never, I’ll give smoking a go!!” I also did not have any wood chips nor did I feel like making a fire, so like a true foodie, an idea started to take form in my head…… Why not use tea to smoke and why not do it in the wok???? Voila, |I set off to work. I had 3 organic chicken breasts, plump and delicious. I seasoned them well with salt and pepper and then squeezed some lemon juice over them and left it for about 30 minutes.

Smoked Chicken


3 chicken breasts – I used with skin and bone
lemon juice
2 teabags
olive oil a pinch of sugar.
salad leaves
tomatoes, sprouts, garden peas, celery, cucumber, avocado ……..

Salad dressing

3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fynbos vinegar
1 tbsp tarragon mustard
1 pinch of sugar

Mix the ingredients for the salad dressing and serve over the smoked chicken salad.

How to smoke chicken in a wok?

First you place a small sheet of foil in the bottom of the wok and place the contents of two teabags on the foil. Place a wire rack( if you have a round one, perfect) over the foil and the tea leaves and place the chicken on the rack. Cover the entire wok with foil ( or use the wok’s lid), make sure there are no gaps for the smoke to escape. Place the wok on the stove top ( I have a gas stove, but I am sure a normal stove will also work) and smoke the chicken for about 20 minutes. When done, I drizzled some olive oil over the chicken and a pinch of sugar and then just browned the skin on a griddle pan. The result was phenomenal, I was so impressed, but now for the South African twist…

I did not use any old tea, I used Rooibos teawhich is a proud South African product.

Rooibos is a kind of “fynbos” that grows only in a small part of the Western Cape ( which is where I live) near the Cederberg. Generally, they oxidize the leaves, a process that produces the distinctive reddish-brown colour of rooibos and enhances the flavour.
South Africans commonly drink rooibos with milk and sugar, but elsewhere it is usually served without. The flavour of rooibos tea is sweet (without sugar added) and slightly nutty.
Rooibos tea is extremely good for you. It is pack with anti-oxidants, has no caffeine and the tannin levels are very low. Rooibos is purported to assist with nervous tension, allergies and digestive problems. Many South African mommies have used Rooibos to alleviate colic, allergies, asthma and dermatological problems with their children.
Because of the health properties of this drink, you can now go into many coffee shops in South Africa and order a red cappuccino or a red espresso., and you will be served something looking like this….

So while you go and order some lovely South African Rooibos(red bush) products, I’ll go and make myself a nice cup of rooibos tea!!!!

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27 Responses to “Smoked Chicken Salad with a South African Twist”

  1. Rose&Thorn 2 October 2009 at 10:16 am #

    One can't imagine buying what they sell as smoked chicken in the shops once you see how easy it is to do yourself. I love smoked chicken – going to try this tomorrow for lunch. Never tried rooibos smoking – thanks for the tip.

  2. The Woman 2 October 2009 at 12:20 pm #

    What a great idea! I can't believe it's this easy to smoke chicken.

    You do us South Africans proud!

  3. SavoringTime in the Kitchen 2 October 2009 at 2:35 pm #

    I love the idea of the smoked chicken breast – very clever!

    I love tea on a cool afternoon. Unfortunately, I'll probably have to settle for my green ginger tea instead of your rooibos. I'll keep looking though 🙂

  4. Bellini Valli 2 October 2009 at 4:03 pm #

    This technique does look quick and easy for smoking your own chicken Nina. Thanks for the tips:D

  5. redkathy 2 October 2009 at 4:12 pm #

    Wonderful post! Very interesting idea for smoking chicken. Your photo (and recipe) is fantastic!!

  6. Pam 2 October 2009 at 5:11 pm #

    Another delicious looking salad. Love the dressing.

  7. ♥peachkins♥ 3 October 2009 at 2:20 am #

    This is great! smoking chicken in a pot…I'm sure the chicken is very tasty!

  8. My Carolina Kitchen 3 October 2009 at 2:22 am #

    I've had too many house guest in too short of time with everyone including myself eating way too much and I need to detox. I'm locking the door and making this salad.

  9. Elra 3 October 2009 at 7:05 am #

    Yes, roibos tea, we drink this everyday. It's becoming more and more available her in California.

    Salad looks great Nina.

  10. Kevin 3 October 2009 at 9:44 pm #

    I am going to have to try smoking some chicken. That salad looks really good!

  11. mycookinghut 3 October 2009 at 9:57 pm #

    I love the taste of rooibos tea. Nina, I really love your way of cooking, simple and looks delicous!!

  12. lisaiscooking 4 October 2009 at 1:11 am #

    I love rooibos tea, and your chicken sounds fantastic! I have to try this.

  13. Juno 4 October 2009 at 8:31 pm #

    Two stunning salads, in a row! How do you do this, Nina? And your photos are gorgeous. More power to your wooden spoon!

  14. RecipeGirl 5 October 2009 at 6:24 pm #

    This looks so delicious!

  15. elly 6 October 2009 at 3:49 pm #

    I've never smoked chicken before, so thanks for the instructions Nina. I will definitely have to try it out!

  16. Marianna 10 October 2009 at 9:41 am #

    such a great read on smoking chicken, thank you for sharing!! a lovely looking dish we have here!!!

  17. Jeanne 12 October 2009 at 1:08 pm #

    Wow – I'm impressed!! I love smoked chicken, but unless Nick is smoking it in the Weber, we don't have it. I miss the abundance of smoked chicken on South african menus – it's not so popular here 🙁

  18. Peter M 28 October 2009 at 12:23 pm #

    Thanks forthe play-by-play on smoking indoors (foodwise) and for introducing me to your SA tea…that's a new one for me.

  19. glamah16 30 October 2009 at 6:39 pm #

    I finally started tea smoking my self last year and love it. Imagine he diffrent favoring with teas you can get. Fish is good too.

  20. Anonymous 2 November 2009 at 6:58 pm #

    I have been trying to figure out how to do smoking with tea after hearing about a rooibos smoked leg of pork for christmas – now I am definitely going to give it a go! Obviously, I will need something a bit bigger than a wok…

  21. Elizabeth Dockel 5 March 2014 at 8:32 am #

    Shop bought smoked chicken is not cheap(R109/ kg), so I am also going to try to smoke my own, thanks!

  22. Elana Joubert 6 March 2014 at 8:24 pm #

    Hoe lank word die hoender gerook voor gaar?

  23. Elana Joubert 6 March 2014 at 8:25 pm #

    Hoe lank neem hoender in roker voor gaar

    • nerinatimm 10 March 2014 at 7:32 am #

      Elana, dit hang maar af, hoe dik jou hoender is! Ek sou sê so 15 minute vir ‘n gewone hoenderborsie, sonder vel of been!

  24. Retha Rix 25 October 2018 at 12:03 pm #

    Mag ek op ‘n spyskaart vir Elsabe Aldrich se Sappige vrou oggend op die spyskaart aandui. Nina Timms Easy Cooking Smoked Chicken Salad

    • nerinatimm 28 November 2018 at 4:30 pm #

      Met die grootste liefde!


  1. Smoked Chicken Salad with Passion fruit salad dressing - May 20, 2014

    […] relatively cheap to buy, but making your own smoked chicken is even better. Try this easy way of smoking chicken with Rooibos tea! The processed cold meats and polonies are stuffed with additives and preservatives and I try and […]

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