Saturday, April 18, 2015

Eating Smart w/Lemon Chicken Salad

Spring Salad Month continues at our house ~ 
One month  =  new jeans one size smaller  =  happy salad eater.

Today I'm featuring Ina Garten's lemon chicken salad.
It's a famous Barefoot Contessa recipe, one of her "most requested" from the days of owning her deli in New York City.  

If I could stop by Barefoot Contessa and pick this up for dinner, 
I would do it in a heartbeat.

Instead, I need to create it, so here we go.  With my tips.

First, you need to make the lemon chicken.  It's easy, it's so bright and clean, and I do this for dinner (first); and use the leftovers for the chicken salad.  Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of this part!

3/4 C freshly squeezed lemon juice = 4 lemons
      (Don't cheat on this.  Fresh is best)  
3/4 C good olive oil 
      (not the cheap stuff, please. It makes all the difference)
2 t. kosher salt
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 T. minced fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2  t. dried)
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts

Whisk together the lemon juice,  olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme.  Pour over the chicken breasts in a non-reactive bowl.  Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight.

Grill for 10 min on ea side, until just cooked through.  Cool slightly and cut diagonally in 1/2 inch-thick slices.

This is delicious for dinner.  Serve it over rice, with a satay dip (Ina's!), or over pasta.

The leftovers become Grilled Lemon Chicken Salad.

And here's how that looks:

Leftover Grilled Lemon Chicken (Up to 2 pounds)
1/4 C fresh squeezed lemon juice (1 large lemon)

You should get one of these.  I got mine from Pampered Chef, though I think you can get them from stores like Williams Sonoma or whatever.    They are well worth the price.  They squeeze fresh lemon (or lime) juice in a heartbeat, and it's effortless.  Good tools make the difference, yes?  Both for plumbing and for cooking......

Ingredients, cont':
1/4 C good olive oil
1 C raw sugar snap peas, stems and strings removed
1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
1/2 yellow bell pepper, julienned
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1/4 t kosher salt
14 t freshly ground pepper

Prep the snap peas first.  Try not to eat too many of them 
before they make it into the salad.

Then slice the leftover (cold) chicken breasts diagonally 
into 3/8 inch slices and add it to the bowl.

Next come the bell peppers.

You can automatically "seed" them by slicing straight down on all four sides.  (I learned this on a cooking show.) 

This is lookin' oh-so-good.

Snuggle them right in there 
next to the fresh peas and lemon chicken.

Repeat with the yellow bell pepper.

Is this not beautiful??   So colorful!  

Add a few lemon slices.

Dress it with the olive oil and lemon juice, salt & pepper.

It's light, it's bright, it's tasty, it's fresh, and it positively 
screams of springtime.  

Toss it all together, and whalah!   Call it dinner.  

Go ahead, tell me that I'm depriving myself with Spring Salad Month.  I dare ya.


  1. Omg this looks & sounds soooo goooood

    1. It's a new favorite for us, Mary C, especially right now when spring snap peas are starting to come off the vines! Super simple, also a plus!


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