Capital Chefs: Haidar Karoum of Estadio & Proof (Part 2)

Photo courtesy of
‘Haidar Karoum’s Spice-Grilled Chicken’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

Everybody needs a good chicken recipe now and then. And chef Haidar Karoum has just the recipe for his spice-grilled chicken with salsa loca. It involves a straight-forward but powerfully tasty marinade and the salsa adds another level to the dish. You might have even had it at Estadio before. So roll up your sleeves and fire up the grill; the full recipe is after the jump.

Spice-Grilled Chicken with Salsa Loca and Fresh Slaw (Serves 4)

Ingredients for the chicken marinade:
3 pounds boneless chicken thighs
1 cup plain yogurt
1 shallot, sliced
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon sambal (author’s note: sambal is a chili-based condiment; chef says you can find this at Whole Foods and Asian markets around town)
2 tablespoon Madras curry powder
1 tablespoon salt

Instructions for the chicken:
1. Combine all the ingredients except the chicken in a blender and purée until smooth. Pour the mixture over chicken thighs and refrigerate 12 to 24 hours.
2. After marinating, remove chicken and wipe away any excess marinade.
3. Season the chicken with salt and drizzle a little olive oil on each thigh.
4. Grill over medium heat for about six minutes per side. In the absence of a grill, preheat an oven to 400 degrees. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat, brown the thighs on both sides and finish in the preheated oven until the chicken is cooked through.

Photo courtesy of
‘Haidar Karoum making plate for spice-grilled chicken’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

Ingredients for the Salsa Loca:
1 cup labneh, or any strained Greek yogurt
1 jalapeño
1 garlic clove
1 bunch cilantro

Instructions for Salsa Loca:
1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth.

Photo courtesy of
‘Estadio’s slaw for spice-grilled chicken’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

Ingredients for the slaw:
1 head napa cabbage, thinly sliced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
10 mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions for the slaw:
1. Mix the cabbage, carrot, red onion, and mint in a bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, combine the lemon juice with the olive oil.
3. Toss the lemon dressing with the mixed vegetables and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle a little bit of the salsa on a plate. Top the salsa with the grilled chicken and the slaw.

Marissa was born and bred in New Jersey, but moved to DC for undergrad at GWU (Go Colonials, go!), fell in love with the District and learned that there was life and civilization beyond New York City. She loves eating at white-tablecloth-three-forks-at-your-place-setting restaurants, but she’ll also be the first to suggest we scarf down some chili dogs at 2 am. Simply put, she loves all things food. You can also read about why she loves DC. Follow her on Twitter and email her at mbialecki (at)

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