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Whey-Brined Chicken with Avocado, Beets, Quinoa, and Greens

Serves 4.


    Whey-Brined Chicken with Avocado, Beets, Quinoa, and Greens

    Straining yogurt is a two-for-one way to get both a tenderizing brining liquid with whey and a thick strained yogurt called labneh. Labneh can be used in dips and dressings, instead of your morning Greek yogurt, in place of cream cheese in desserts, and more.



    • Extra whey and labneh can be kept in airtight container in refrigerator until yogurt’s expiry date.
    • Use the salty, watery brine from feta cheese in place of the yogurt’s whey for a speedier alternative (skip the salt in this case).


    Whey-Brined Chicken with Avocado, Beets, Quinoa, and Greens


    Whey-Brined Chicken
    • 4 cups (1 L) full-fat plain yogurt
    • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) lemon zest
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
    • 2 - 8 oz (225 g) boneless, skinless organic chicken breasts
    • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) avocado oil
    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
    • 10 oz (285 g) pkg mixed baby greens
    • 1 cup (250 mL) cooked, cooled quinoa or brown rice
    • 1 raw beet, peeled and finely chopped or grated
    • 1 bunch radishes, greens removed and quartered
    • 2 avocados, halved, pitted, and quartered
    • 1 lemon, quartered, for serving


    Per serving:

    • calories470
    • protein32g
    • fat28g
      • saturated fat4g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates27g
      • sugars5g
      • fibre10g
    • sodium364mg



    Whey-brined chicken

    Line large fine-mesh sieve with a couple of layers of cheesecloth and place on top of large bowl. Add yogurt (go for extra-fresh—check expiry date) to cheesecloth and place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Probiotic-rich whey is collected at the bottom and thick strained yogurt (labneh) is left in the sieve.

    In medium bowl, combine 3/4 cup (180 mL) whey from above, mustard, lemon zest, and salt. Add chicken and press down to submerge. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 1 day.

    Heat grill pan or cast iron skillet to medium-high. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Brush grill with avocado oil. Grill chicken for 5 to 6 minutes per side, until juices run clear. A thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken should read 160 to 165 F (70 to 74 C). Rest for 5 minutes before slicing.


    In small bowl, stir together olive oil and balsamic vinegar. To large platter, add greens and top evenly with grain of choice, beet, radishes, and avocado. Top with sliced chicken and drizzle olive oil and balsamic overtop. Serve with lemon wedges.


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    This recipe is part of the Cooking with Water collection.



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