We never have salad for dinner. But, to go along with our healthy eating, I figured why not. I've got to get that bikini body ready somehow and I've only got 1 more week until our vacation! I'm definitely in need of one considering I've taken two summer classes already and yesterday was my last day. It was a relief lifted off of my back to know that I got an A in both!
Anyway, got off on a little tangent there, but I was browsing some recipes and found this lovely cherry chicken salad recipe over at More Please.
I WAS going to use dried cranberries instead of cherries, but I forgot to save some cranberries from our cranberry-bacon fried rice the other day, that I just opted to do without the fruit because I was too lazy to go to the grocery. And a couple other tweaks also...
2 Chicken Breasts
1 tablespoon strawberry jam
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon raspberry walnut vinaigrette
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon shallot, minced
salt and pepper to taste
bag of spring mix
1/4 cup maple sage walnuts
1 cup walnuts
3 tablespoons syrup
1 teaspoon dried sage or 1 fresh sage leaf chopped finely
4 tablespoon goat cheese
Combine jam, 1 tablespoon raspberry walnut (or any fruity vinaigrette really), olive oil, lime juice, lemon juice, shallow, salt and pepper in medium sized bowl. Add chicken and mixture into plastic bag and let marinate for about 2-3 hours.
While chicken is marinating, you can make the maple sage walnuts. These were probably my favorite part of the salad. Such a good use of walnuts.
In a small skillet under medium heat, add walnuts, syrup, sage, and a pinch of salt and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Make sure syrup covers all of the walnuts and let cool. Easy huh??
When chicken is finished marinating, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat medium sized oven proof skillet under medium to high heat and sear chicken until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. (as an alternative to an oven proof skillet, you could always lay a baking sheet in the oven while it's preheating, and when done searing chicken on stove, add chicken to hot sheet pan). Then put skillet in oven and cook chicken for about 10 more minutes. The searing of the chicken on the stove first allows the chicken to be "sealed" with flavor, and in my experience, I've found this to make the chicken juicier while it's in the oven, not dried out.
When chicken is cooked through, allow it to rest for about 5 minutes.
Prepare even amounts of spring mix on two plates. Slice chicken and add on top of salad. Sprinkle walnuts, goat cheese, and if you want to some dried fruit (cranberries, strawberries, or cherries). Then drizzle vinaigrette over salad and serve!
This is definitely a delicious and light meal that's great on a hot summer day!