This recipe is meant for 10 people as an appetiser for a party, alongside other snacks. If you're making it for your household, you may want to adjust the amount of ingredients. Because a good Salad Olvieh is quite a bit of work, I still prepare this amount to make it worthwhile. We keep it in the fridge and eat it over the course of a couple of days.
Feel free to adjust the amount of mayonnaise, lemon juice, and other ingredients to match your own personal taste.
Boil the potatoes until they are cooked. The cooking time depends on the size of your potatoes. It may take anything from 20 to 60 minutes. In the meantime you can cook the chicken breast (see below).
Poke them with a fork to see if they are cooked. Once they are soft in the centre, drain them in a colander and let them steam dry. This will allow as much moisture as possible to evaporate, which will make for a more delicious Salad Olvieh. While they cool down you can prep the other ingredients.
Boil approx. 1 litre / 2 cups of water. Skin off the onion and garlic. Quarter the onion. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a pan and put it over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and chicken breasts and gently fry them for 2 minutes or so. It is not important, that any of them turn brown, they will have plenty of time to cook. Cover the onion and chicken breasts with boiling water, season with a generous amount of black pepper and salt and put them over low to medium heat for about 40 minutes.
Hard boil the eggs (8 to 12 minutes depending on size). Shock them with cold water and peel them. Grate them roughly into a large bowl.
Chop the khiaar shoor in small pieces (see photo). You then need to squeeze the water out of the gherkins (an essential step that is often skipped). If all that gherkin juice remains in the gherkins, it will eventually come out and leak into your Salad Olvieh, making it watery and not nice to look at! You can squeeze the chopped khiaar shoor with your hands or put them in a muslin cloth and then squeeze the juice out of them.
Once the chicken breasts are cooked, remove them from the pan, so they can cool down. You can remove the onions and garlic and use the stock to make soup. If you don’t have any use for it now, you can freeze it in a plastic container for later.
Once the potatoes are cooled down, peel them and then either grate or mash them. This is one of the few points my Maman and I disagree on. I like a very smooth Salad Olvieh, so I prefer to mash the potatoes. My Maman says they should be grated, so that it has a bit more texture to it.
Once the chicken breasts are cooled down, pull them apart like pulled pork. Add them also to the bowl.
Combine everything well and then add the mayonnaise, lemon juice, salty gherkins, frozen peas, and olive oil.
Season generously with black pepper and salt. Keep tasting and seasoning until you are happy with the result.
You can decorate your Salad Olvieh with olives, olive oil, carrot slices, and/or more salty gherkins. Please don’t arrange them in the shape of flowers. They never really look like flowers. JK, do what you like! XD
Serve it with any bread you like. Enjoy!