Thursday Night Nicoise Salad

Thursday Night Nicoise Salad
Allow all of your salad stars to shine on their own. Dress each component of your salad individually and pile onto a platter. Simple food is just so darn pretty. Make something like this whatever you have on hand!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Grilled Chicken Salad

Grilled chicken does NOT have to be ho-hum. If you season it up and marinate it before grilling, it will be moist and delicious and incredible with a great salad! The usual thought with skinless, boneless chicken breasts is that skinless, boneless can easily = flavorless. Here are a few tricks that always seem to make for delicious grilled chicken breasts. Heat your grill to medium and make sure the grates are clean. After rinsing the chicken breasts, pat them dry and season them well with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and any other seasonings you enjoy. I like dried thyme, dried oregano, maybe some chili powder, and I really like Tajin, which is a really tasty Mexican spice flavored with chile peppers, salt and lime. Excellent! Google it if you've never heard of it or just buy some when you're at your local Mexican grocery store. My link gadget is not currently working on Blogger (?).....

Ok, so place the seasoned chicken breasts into a nice large freezer ziploc bag. The 2-gallon size is great if you're making several. I like to pound the breasts to uniform thickness while in the ziploc. Do this carefully while the bag is unzipped. Use a heavy can or something if you don't have a mallet.  Don't pound them to be super thin. Just pound them so that the thickest part of the breast is the same thickness as the thinner part. Now, add some olive oil to the bag. Add something acidic like freshly squeezed lemon juice (probably my favorite) or your favorite vinegar (or both!). Add fresh herbs if you have them on  hand. Thyme, chives, oregano, basil, rosemary would all work well. If you don't have any, don't sweat it. Add a cut garlic clove or two. Add some sliced onion. Zip it. Massage it. Pop it in the fridge to chill while you're getting the rest of your dinner together and waiting for the grill to heat. I personally do not marinate the chicken for a long period of time because the acid will begin to "cook" the chicken before you cook the chicken. Usually about a half hour or so.

Get your salad together. For this particular dinner, I tossed a salad with the following ingredients: Mixed greens (baby spinach, baby kale, baby chard and romaine hearts), red onion, a nice firm avocado, feta cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, a shot of white balsamic vinegar, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and a bit of dried oregano (home grown, I know, I know).

Using tongs, place the chicken breasts directly from the bag onto the grates (medium heat). Close the lid. Let the grill do it's thing. Don't mess around with continual flip-flopping. The chicken will certainly stick if you try to remove it prematurely. Let them cook. Walk away. I think that most of the cooking is done on that first side, before flipping. I'd say you should grill the chicken breasts for about 10-15 minutes until you have nice grill marks and the breasts are easily removed. Flip, close the lid, let them cook for another 10 minutes or so. It's so hard to gauge. I'll time the cooking process the next time I grill them. The actual time will depend on the size and thickness of the breasts and your particular grill. The chicken should be firm, but not hard and dry. I always slice one in the thickest part just to be sure it's cooked through.

Place the grilled chicken breasts on a platter and let them rest (why, are they tired?) while you drizzle them with some fresh olive oil, scatter some red onions or sliced scallions and some fresh herbs on top. I also grill a few lemon halves or wedges and serve those with the chicken. Throw some bread on the grill while you're at it. Just brush slices of rustic bread with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt and grill. I wouldn't walk away on the bread, though. It burns pretty quickly. It is so worth not walking away!

Slice, serve on or beside your salad with the grilled bread. Overeat. Enjoy!

Grillin' & Chillin',

Love, Katie

1 comment:

  1. YUM!! Can't wait to try this out.

    ReplyDelete

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For more posts (articles), recipes, stories and pictures, you can scroll up (in the right column under "What You Missed") and click on 2008, 2009 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013. As of June, 2013, there are are total of 139 posts in KPK. You can spend more time here when you know where to look, right?! Another way to enjoy my kitchen is to click on any items of interest in the section entitled "Passion Posts", also up above in the right column.

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