Crunchy Parmesan, Black Olive & Paprika Topped Chicken Breast with Brown Rice Salad – Chicken Salad Recipe NZ

Chicken salad recipes NZ-wide are popular for picnics, summer lunches, and light dinners. Bird & Barrow is here to take your chicken salad game to the next level, using our free range chicken to ensure that each bite is packed with natural flavours and wholesome goodness. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a newbie in the kitchen, our easy-to-follow guide will help you whip up one of the best chicken salad recipes NZ has ever tasted!


4 Bird & Barrow free-range chicken breasts

¾ cup panko breadcrumbs

½ cup black olives, roughly chopped

¾ cup finely grated parmesan cheese

½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

¼ tsp smoked paprika

Zest of 1 lemon

4 tbsp olive oil

Sea salt & cracked black pepper

Brown Rice Salad

2½ cups cooked brown rice

1 red capsicum, core removed and cut into small pieces

10cm piece cucumber, seeds removed and cut into small cubes

1 medium carrot, grated or julienned

Large handful fresh mint, roughly chopped

¾ cup roasted cashew nuts

¼ cup good quality pesto

3 tbsp good quality olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon


3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

1 tsp honey or maple syrup

Salt and pepper to taste

Chicken Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Combine the breadcrumbs, black olives, parmesan cheese, parsley, smoked paprika and lemon zest. Stir together and then drizzle with the olive oil. Toss well to evenly coat. Taste and then season generously.
  3. Line an oven-proof dish with baking paper and place the chicken breasts so that the side that was facing down in the packet is now on top. This side is flatter and this helps the breadcrumbs stay on top.
  4. Pile the breadcrumbs on top of the chicken. Use your hand as a guard to stop the crumbs from falling straight off and pat down gently to help them stick.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes. Cook slightly longer for very large pieces and slightly less for small ones. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.

Rice Salad Method

  1. Combine the brown rice, fresh ingredients and cashew nuts in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together the pesto, olive oil and lemon juice. Pour over the rice salad and toss well. Taste and season generously.
  3. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Tips for acing easy chicken salad recipes in NZ 

Quality Matters

The star of this dish is, undoubtedly, the chicken. Always opt for Bird & Barrow’s free-range chicken for a salad that is rich in natural flavours and nutrients.

Freshness First

Always choose fresh and crisp vegetables for your salad. This ensures a delightful crunch with every bite, making it one of the easy chicken salad recipes NZ loves.

Customisation is Key

Feel free to mix and match with your favourite veggies or add-ins. Whether you want to toss in some juicy cherry tomatoes, olives, or even some boiled eggs – make this salad your own!

Serving Suggestions

This salad pairs beautifully with a chilled glass of wine or a fresh lemonade. While this dish stands strong on its own, a light soup or some crusty bread can complement it perfectly. 

The Bird & Barrow Difference

Bird & Barrow’s commitment to quality shines through in every bite, ensuring a dish that is wholesome, delicious, and easy to put together. Whether you’re planning a weekend brunch, a picnic, or just want a refreshing meal, this is the chicken salad recipe NZ residents and beyond will come back to time and again. 


What sets this Chicken Salad Recipe apart from the rest?

What makes our chicken salad stand out is its blend of premium, free-range chicken with the crunchiness of Parmesan, the tang of black olives, and the warmth of paprika. Together, these elements create a harmonious burst of flavours and textures, making it one of the most satisfying chicken salad recipes NZ has to offer.

Why should I choose Bird & Barrow for chicken salad recipes in NZ?

At Bird & Barrow, quality is paramount. Our chickens are free-to-roam on our farms and are treated with the best care by our farmers. This results in meat that is tender, juicy, and flavourful. When you choose our chicken, you"re choosing the finest, ensuring your dish stands out in taste and quality. 

Do you have wine-pairing suggestions for this chicken salad?

A crisp Sauvignon Blanc or a light Rosé pairs beautifully with the salad"s flavours, accentuating the chicken and complementing the brown rice and Parmesan.

How do I ensure the perfect crunch for the chicken topping?

The secret lies in baking at the right temperature and keeping a watchful eye. The provided timings in our recipe should guide you, but ovens can vary. Look for a golden-brown hue, and you’re on the right track.