Balsamic Chicken Salad
After our Super Bowl overindulgence last weekend, we’ve been eating light this week. This salad is so good! Here’s the details:
The recipe is from Taste of Home. Mine looks nothing like the picture. (I think mine looks better!)
I bought the greens from the store. I wanted one of those large-size plastic recycle-able salad boxes from the store for my seed starting this spring. It was half spring mix and half baby spinach. No other veggies. I added some carrots and cucumber.
You also need to halve some cherry or grape tomatoes. The recipe calls for 1-1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes. I used a couple hand-fulls of grape tomatoes.
(Above) Start by putting some salad on your plate. LOTS of salad. This was our dinner, so we ate dinner-sized portions!
I forgot to take pictures of the steps. Dang it! Basically, I cooked three chicken breasts in a skillet with about a tablespoon of olive oil. The recipe calls for six boneless-skinless breast halves, but as you can see in the picture below, three breast halves are plenty!
Once they’re mostly cooked through, remove them from the pan and cut them into strips or chunks or whatever shape you want. I just worked my way down each breast crosswise.
Finish cooking them up in the pan. Now that they’re smaller pieces, they’ll cook up faster. I find that chicken is much easier to cut up after it’s mostly cooked. When you add the cut chicken back to the skillet, also add 1 clove of minced garlic. The recipe calls for 1/2 tsp minced garlic, but I work with bulbs, not jars of pre-minced garlic. A clove seemed about right. It was perfect.
When it’s cooked through and the garlic has had a minute in the pan, take the chicken out of the pan again. Pour 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar in the same skillet. I used half the meat that the recipe called for, but all of the sauce. No regrets.
Once the vinegar starts to boil, add 3 Tbs of olive oil, a teaspoon of dried basil, and a pinch of salt & pepper. Whisk or stir it up. The recipe says to just add everything back in, but I found the dressing comes together better if you finish the sauce first. It coats everything more evenly in the end.
Now put the chicken and garlic back in the pan. I know, it’s like going to a Catholic mass. Up and down, in and out. This is the last transfer.
(Above) Add your tomatoes to the pan. Cook through.
Add the chicken mixture to the salad. We also added sliced avocado, dried cranberries, and (not pictured, since we remembered about half way through eating) croutons.
You can drizzle some of the extra sauce on the greens if you want. We found that there was plenty of sauce on the meat and we didn’t need to. We also found that having a little extra sauce made the leftovers better. Chicken can be so dry, but storing it in a little sauce made the lefties perfectly juicy.