Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Fruity Chicken Salad

I think I’ve established that I like salads with fruit in them. I made one from Coup de Pouce with leftover turkey, pearl couscous, carrots and raisins with an orange dressing (granted, raisins aren’t much in the way of fruit, but this was great to polish off leftover turkey from the holidays). I also tried a farro salad with roasted squash, pomegranate, and persimmons, after reading this guide to persimmons. It’s too bad I only caught the tail end of the season, because I really liked them! And of course there was my lemon chicken salad with oranges and pomegranates. All this to say that it should come as no surprise that I’m overjoyed with this so-called rainbow chicken salad with almond honey mustard dressing! Both the Engineer and I loved this salad; the Little Prince liked the grapes, chicken and dressing on day 1 (and asked for more of each), and on day 2, he decided that maybe the blueberries were pretty good too. Note that to make this nut-free, in addition to eliminating the chopped almonds, I’d recommend using sun butter or tahini instead of almond butter in the dressing.

For the salad
2 tsp. vegetable oil
8 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or cutlets
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. chili powder (or a pinch of Korean pepper)
2 cups red grapes, halved
1 cup fresh blueberries
3 cups curly lettuce, chopped
½ cup feta cheese (I omitted that)
½ cup almonds, chopped or crushed (mine were roasted and salted; see note above)

For the dressing
3 Tbsp. almond butter (see note above)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
3 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. stoneground mustard
½ Tbsp. honey
¼ tsp. salt, more to taste
½ tsp. garlic (I used some garlic powder instead)

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with the salt, pepper, and chili powder. Sauté in the oil for a few minutes, flipping the chicken now and then to cook through and get a nice golden color on both sides. When the chicken is cooked, remove from heat and set aside.

Cut and prep all the vegetables and fruits. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut into bite sized pieces. Place the salad ingredients in a large bowl - you can either arrange the bowl by ingredient, as in a salade composée, or toss everything together. Refrigerate to chill.

For the dressing, purée all the dressing ingredients in a food processor until smooth (I did this with my immersion blender). Taste and adjust to your preferences. Pour dressing over salad and serve.

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