Tag Archives: chicken

Beet salad with goat cheese, walnuts, and chicken

Beet salad with goat cheese, walnuts, and chicken

This is my take on a classic salad. The combination of ingredients is hardly original, though I haven’t seen chicken added to make it a main-course salad. I liked the dressing I came up with, a vinaigrette with balsamic vinegar, honey, and a generous amount of Dijon mustard. I think it went well here and I plan on making it for other salads. One note: I have absolutely decided that for any vinaigrette that includes honey, putting the ingredients in a jar and shaking to combine is the only way to go. Especially with the small quantity involved for a salad for one, trying to whisk the ingredients together is just too difficult.

A few other comments: I don’t give a quantity for the number of beets to use because they vary so much in size. I happened to get quite small ones and used three, but with some very large beets one would be more than enough. The same goes for how to cut the beets for the salad. With my small beets, cutting them into wedges gave pieces that were a good size and looked nice. But a large beet would have to either be diced or sliced and then the slices cut into wedges. Likewise, the length of time required for roasting will obviously depend on the size.

For the walnuts, I used the plain toasted shelled walnuts. If you like candied nuts, go ahead, but that’s not my thing. Also, I suggest going with the “whole” walnuts, not the chopped. I used the quotes because numbers of the pieces were broken, which was fine. Indeed, I broke the whole pieces in half for the salad. But I think this is better than the smaller chopped pieces.

Beet salad with goat cheese, walnuts, and chicken

olive oil

spring mix lettuce
cooked chicken breast, in bite-sized pieces
goat cheese

3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
fresh ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F for roasting the beets. (If you have an uncooked chicken breast, you can bake it at the same time.) Wash the beets and cut off most of the stems, leaving about an inch. Place the beets on a sheet of foil (I used 2 layers), sprinkle on a little olive oil and a bit of salt and roll the beets in the oil to coat. Wrap the foil tightly and put the beets in the oven. The beets are done when a knife goes in easily when you pierce a beet. You can do this through the foil without unwrapping and just put them back in the oven if they need more time. The small beets I had were done in 45 minutes. Larger beets could take an hour.

After taking the beets out of the oven, wait until the beets are cool enough to handle. Cut off the top and bottom of each beet. Remove the skins. It may work to use paper towels to rub the skins off, or you may have to use a knife to peel. I would suggest doing this right over the foil package and using disposable gloves–everything is going to get very red! Cut the beets into bite-sized pieces for the salad, doing this on a papper plate, a piece of parchment paper, or something else disposable rather than staining your cutting board.

I would suggest having this done an hour or two before you make the salad, leaving the beets and chicken out at room temperature.

Assemble the salad, putting the beets, chicken, and walnuts on the lettuce. Shake in a jar the oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, and pepper. Pour over the salad. Add small pieces of goat cheese.

Chicken adobo salad

Chicken adobo salad

Chicken adobo is often called the national dish of the Phillipines. The chicken is cooked with soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic. I thought this would be good for a salad.

The first recipe I found when looking for ideas online said that a distinctive aspect of adobo chicken is that the chicken is cooked in the liquid first and then browned at the end. This is just the opposite of many dishes such as chicken fricasee and coq au vin where the chicken is browned first. But other recipes did have you browning the chicken first, and still others didn’t brown at all. I decided to cook in the liquid and then finish with a quick browning under the broiler.

Then came the the question of what to do with the rest of the salad. I know nothing about Filipino cuisine, so back to Google for ideas. I found recipes for just about any kind of salad, many using familiar ingredients. I saw several recipes that combined cucumbers and carrots, both in a straight cucumber salad (with red onions) and in a slaw, with cabbage. I thought these would go well.

Vinegar is a primary ingredient for the dressings for some cucumber salads, so having the cucumber with the adobo chicken with the vinegar was a good choice. To emphasize the vinegar on the salad, I altered the proportions for my dressing, using equal amounts of oil and the soy-vinegar mixture from the chicken.

Chicken adobo salad

2 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup white vinegar
5–6 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
fresh ground pepper

spring mix lettuce and spinach
cucumber, sliced thin
carrots, sliced thin
red onion, sliced very thin

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Put the chicken thighs in a pan with the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and pepper. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, turning the chicken over once about half way through.

Remove the chicken thighs. Place them under the broiler for 2 or 3 minutes to brown. Then let them rest a few minutes before slicing.

Take 2 tablespoons of the soy-vinegar cooking liquid and combine with the oil for the dressing. Boil the remainder of the liquid down by at least half, until it starts to thicken, to concentrate the sauce for spooning over the chicken.

Arrange the cucumber, carrots, and onions on the lettuce and spinach. Whisk or shake in a small jar the oil and soy-vinegar mixture. Spoon the dressing over the salad.

Slice the chicken. Place in the middle of the salad. Spoon the reduced cooking liquid over the chicken.

Chicken artichoke farfalla salad

Chicken artichoke farfalla salad

This is another one of my favorite pasta salads. It has the same ingredients as the artichoke and sun-dried tomato salad posted earlier, just substituting the farfalla for the lettuce. Actually, the idea for this combination came first for this pasta salad. I later adapted it to make the other salad.

Chicken artichoke farfalla salad

slightly less than 1 cup farfalla
1 cup cooked chicken breast, bite-sized pieces
1/2 large can artichoke hearts, cut into quarters or sixths
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon herbs de provence
3 tablespooons olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Cook the farfalla as instructed on the package, drain, and rinse to cool (or cook earlier and cool in refrigerator).

Combined the ingredients and toss to mix.

Teriyaki chicken salad

Teriyaki chicken salad

I always like pineapple with teriyaki chicken, so that was my starting point for this salad. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs for their fuller flavor, but you could certainly use a piece of chicken breast instead. For the dressing, a vinaigrette with teriyaki sauce was an obvious choice. I included honey, as I felt that the sweetness would work well with the rest of the salad.

Teriyaki chicken salad

1 or 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs, depending on size and appetite
teriyaki sauce

baby spinach
mushrooms, sliced
scallions, sliced, including plenty of the green part

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons teriyaki sauce
1 teaspoon ginger
1 small clove garlic, minced or pressed, or 1/2 of a large clove
fresh ground pepper

Marinate chicken thighs in teriyaki sauce in a plastic bag for an hour or two.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken thighs on a rack in a baking pan. Brush on bit more of the teriyaki sauce. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn on broiler and place the chicken under broiler for about 3 minutes to further brown to tops and finish cooking. Watch closely to not burn. Check that the thighs are cooked through by slicing in or reading a temperature of 160 to 165 on an instant-read thermometer. The thermometer is likely to be practical only for thicker thighs, inserted from the side into the middle. If not cooked through, you can just leave them in the oven for a few more minutes.

You want to let the chicken rest for a few minutes before slicing, so there is no need to start the final assembly of the salad before you take the chicken out.

Put mushrooms and scallions on the spinach, reserving some of the green parts. Whisk or shake in a jar the oil, vinegar, honey, teriyaki sauce, ginger, garlic, and fresh ground pepper. Pour over the salad. Slice the chicken thighs and place in the middle of the salad. Top the chicken with the remaining green parts of the scallions. Put chunks of pineapple on the salad.

Barbecue chicken salad

Barbecue chicken salad

From barbecue chicken to barbecue chicken pizza to barbecue chicken frittata to barbecue chicken salad. My wife thought I was being terribly derivative and uncreative. I think there’s something to be said for adapting an idea from one type of food to another totally different type of food. You decide.

The ingredients are essentially the same as for the barbecue chicken frittata, substituting the lettuce for the eggs.

I struggled with the dressing for this salad. My first thought was to make a barbecue vinaigrette, adding perhaps a tablespoon of barbecue sauce to a vinaigrette, and carrying the barbecue sauce flavor throughout the salad. Then I thought that this would be too much, that a nice creamy vinaigrette would contrast nicely with the barbecue-sauced chicken. I even contemplated the idea of making the salad with half of each, to see which I liked better. I finally came up with the idea of making the creamy vinaigrette with a small amount of barbecue sauce. I liked the way this worked.

Barbecue chicken salad

1 cup cooked chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
barbecue sauce, enough to coat the chicken breast pieces

romaine lettuce
red onion, thinly sliced
olives, sliced
1/3 to 1/2 cup smoked Gouda, cut into pieces (I did a fat julienne)

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1–1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon barbecue sauce
fresh ground pepper

Mix the chicken with enough barbecue sauce to coat.

Put the onions and olives on the romaine. Whisk, or shake in a small jar the oil, vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, barbecue sauce, and pepper. Spoon the dressing over the salad.

Put the chicken in the middle and the smoked Gouda around the sides.

Chicken fajita frittata

Chicken fajita frittata

The ingredients in a fajita will work perfectly well in a frittata. Season and cook as if making a fajita and you have a fajita frittata.

A few notes: The meat and vegetables in a fajita are traditionally made and served in strips. For a frittata, I think it makes sense to cut these strips into shorter pieces. For the bell peppers, I would choose to use red and yellow peppers in a fajita for maximum contrast. (Green pepper would not be my choice for a fajita.) But for the frittata, with the eggs being yellow, I chose an orange pepper to have contrast with the eggs. And of course the frittata ingredients can be prepared however you like to make fajitas. The chicken is often marinaded, and everyone seems to use a slightly different mixture of spices.

Chicken fajita frittata

4 ounces, 1/2 cup chicken breast, cut into strips and then shorter pieces
1/3 cup red bell pepper cut into strips and then into shorter pieces
1/3 cup orange or yellow bell pepper cut into strips and then into shorter pieces
1/3 cup red or yellow onion, sliced and cut into pieces
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon oregano
fresh ground pepper

3 eggs

Mix the spices. Heat oil in a pan over moderately high heat. Add the chicken and sprinkle on over half of the spice mixture. Cook, turning frequently until chicken is browned and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. (These are small pieces, so they will cook quickly.) Remove the chicken from the pan and add the vegetables and a bit more oil if needed. Sprinkle on the remaining spice mixture. Turn down the heat to medium and cook until the vegetables are soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Depending on the amount of the spices remaining in the pan, you may want to wipe it out before proceeding with the frittata.

Put the eggs into a good-sized mixing bowl and beat just to mix them up. Add a bit of oil to the pan and let it get hot. Add a small amount of the eggs to the pan to set the bottom of the frittata to prevent sticking. Turn the heat down to medium low. Mix the chicken and vegetables into the eggs. Pour the mixture into the pan. Cook this for about 5 minutes to set the bottom and sides.

Preheat the broiler. When the 5 minutes cooking on the stove are up, place the pan under the broiler, about 6 to 7 inches below. Cook until the top is set and just starts to brown. This is about 1–1/2 to 2 minutes for me, but watch closely.

Remove from the broiler, loosen up the sides with a spatula if necessary, and slide the frittata out onto the serving plate. Serve with pico de gallo or salsa.

Indian salad

Indian salad

This salad was inspired by dishes and flavors of India.

I started with the idea of using tandoori chicken for the salad. Indian food includes so many great vegetable dishes, which I looked to as a complement to the chicken. Gobi aloo–cauliflower and potatoes–is a very common dish which I have made. I thought the cauliflower prepared that way might go well. (I didn’t want the potatoes on the salad.) And the dressing is a vinaigrette seasoned with garam masala, the common Indian spice mix.

For the tandoori chicken, I strongly encourage using the boneless skinless thighs. I think their more robust flavor works better here than chicken breasts. I used the tandoori spice mixture from Penzey’s spices, but you could certainly make your own mixture of spices. Just google tandoori spice for ideas (which vary greatly from recipe to recipe).

Garam masala is another spice mixture and is commonly used in South Asian cuisine. Once again, you could make your own, but this is more widely available and certainly worth the effort to try to find it if you plan on making even a few Indian dishes.

When I had the idea for the salad, I was confident that the various elements would be good, as I had made the tandoori chicken and the gobi aloo before. But I wasn’t sure how well they would work together as a salad. I really liked the result and will definitely be making it again.

Indian salad

1 or 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs (depending on size, appetite)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon tandoori spice
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1–1/2 cups cauliflower in bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 heaping teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 heaping teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 heaping teaspoon ginger paste
1/8 heaping teaspoon ground tumeric
1/4 heaping teaspoon paprika
1/4 heaping teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 heaping teaspoon garam masala

lettuce (I used a combination of spring mix and baby spinach)

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 clove garlic, pressed (or less if large clove)
fresh ground pepper

Mix yogurt, tandoori spice, and lemon juice in a plastic bag. Add the chicken thighs and mix together. Marinate 4 to 8 hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken thighs on rack in a baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes (but check earlier if thighs are small and thin) until they reach an internal temperature of 160–165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Turn on the broiler and place the chicken under the broiler for a few minutes to further brown the tops.

After taking the chicken breasts out of the oven (you want to give them time to rest), start the cauliflower. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds, garlic, and ginger and cook for about a minute. Add the cauliflower and turn the heat down to low. Sprinkle all over the cauliflower the mixture of the tumeric, paprika, ground cumin, and garam masala. Cover the pan and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, turning over once or twice, until the cauliflower is just starting to soften. (You still want to retain some of its crispness for the salad.)

Place the cauliflower on the lettuce. Whisk or shake in a jar the oil, vinegar, garam masala, garlic, and fresh ground pepper. Pour over the salad. Slice the chicken thighs and place in the middle of the salad.