Asparagus and Poached Chicken Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Asparagus and chicken are classic partners. Simply throw in sliced avocado for richness, watercress for its peppery flavour and roasted almonds for crunch. Lighten things up with this refreshing buttermilk dressing and you have a winner of a dinner.

			  Asparagus and Poached Chicken Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 30-35 minutes


  • 2 large skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 bunches asparagus, woody ends removed
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers, sliced thinly
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1 bunch watercress, washed and ends trimmed
  • 100g smoked almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch chives, cut into 2cm pieces
Buttermilk dressing:
  • 125ml buttermilk
  • 50ml avocado oil or olive oil
  • 60ml white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons seeded mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, grated finely


  1. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil, add chicken breasts and cook gently for 7-10 minutes. Turn off heat, cover and leave for 20-25 minutes to cook through. Remove chicken and cut into thin slices. (When cool, store cooking liquid in refrigerator for 1-2 days to use in soups or sauces.)
  2. Cut asparagus on an angle into 5cm long pieces. Steam or cook in the microwave until just tender.
  3. Place cucumber, watercress, chicken and asparagus in a bowl and toss to combine. Add avocado slices and toss gently to combine.
  4. To prepare Buttermilk Dressing, place all ingredients in a screw top jar and shake to combine.
  5. To serve, fill four serving dishes with a generous amount of the salad. Sprinkle with smoked almonds and chives. Serve with the dressing on the side. Drizzle with the dressing just before serving.


  • Ideally use free-range chicken.
  • Chicken can be poached 2-3 days ahead of time.
  • Use any left over salad for the next day’s lunch.

Recipe provided by the Australian Asparagus Council.

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