Chicken Salad With Chard, Cabbage, and Pickled Onions


Want a low-maintenance chicken salad minus the mayo? Simply use your broiler to make irresistibly crispy chicken thighs then pair them with quick-pickled onions, green cabbage, and raw chard leaves (think kale that’s easier to chew). It’s quick, it’s easy, and best of all, it’s delicious. P.S. You don’t have to throw out the chicken bones. Just freeze them in a freezer-safe zip-top bag for a future batch of stock. Add your cooking scraps to the bag as you cook (things like parsley stems, onion and carrot peels, or wilted celery are great). Then, when you have a full bag, just simmer it all up with water, salt, and pepper to make chicken stock.

Photo: Anna Williams
Hands On Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
4 servings


  • cup red wine vinegar

  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced

  • 4 cloves garlic, grated

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 4 6-oz. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

  • ¼ large head green cabbage, cored and chopped (3 cups)

  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves torn into bite-size pieces (about 10 cups loosely packed)


  1. Preheat broiler with rack in middle position. Microwave vinegar, sugar, and ½ teaspoon salt in a large bowl on high until mixture is hot and sugar is dissolved, about 30 seconds. Stir in onion; set aside.

  2. Mix garlic, cumin, 2 tablespoons oil, and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add chicken thighs and turn to coat; arrange skin side down on a rimmed baking sheet and broil for 10 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, add cabbage to onion mixture in bowl and toss to combine. Let soften while chicken finishes.

  4. Flip thighs and continue broiling until golden brown and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 165°F, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, reserving drippings on baking sheet. Let chicken cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Slice chicken and skin away from bones; discard bones.

  5. Add chard, sliced chicken, and baking sheet drippings to bowl with cabbage mixture. Add remaining ¼ cup oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper and toss to combine.

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