Start up the grill and celebrate summer with great food, good friends and this delicious salad with grilled chicken, fresh fennel and cherries.
‘Tis the season for backyard picnics and sunny beach soirees. I remember many family get-togethers in the park where the star of the show was a wooden picnic table laden with a variety of homemade favorites including grilled meats and heavy mayo-based salads. Although delicious, the nutritional value of that picnic fare was questionable. We all still love a great outdoor food fest, but if you’re like me, also secretly dream of becoming the world’s next supermodel.
This grilled tarragon chicken salad recipe provides the fun of summer food while not adding notches to your belt. It’s born out of a dish we served in the first restaurant where I cut my teeth in the kitchen, so to speak. I have taken out the fatty mayo, added fresh fruit, and lightened it up with a simple lemon vinaigrette.
It’s perfect for one, but you can increase proportions to feed the multitudes at your next outdoor party. Now get to grilling and celebrate summer with good friends, great food, and fun stories while cooking up some amazing memories.
Grilled Tarragon Chicken Salad with Fresh Fennel and Cherries
1 boneless-skinless chicken breast
1 teaspoon + ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup fennel, sliced
¼ cup tarragon leaves, stemmed
¼ cup cherries, quartered and seeded (or whole dried cherries)
¼ cup blueberries
1 ½ cup baby arugula, densely packed
¼ cup toasted almonds
½ lemon, juiced
salt and pepper to taste
(optional) zest of ½ orangePreparation:
1. Coat the chicken breast with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste, then grill. The cooking time will vary whether you use a grill pan, counter-top electric grill or the backyard barbecue. Either way, you want the internal temperature of the chicken breast (at the fattest part) to be 160 degrees.2. While your chicken is grilling, do your chopping and dicing. Remember to thoroughly wash and dry the fennel bulb before slicing.
3. When the chicken is finished on the grill, let it rest for approximately 5 minutes, then and slice into strips on the bias.
4. Toss all ingredients in a small bowl with the lemon juice, remaining olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. (If you’re preparing the salad to-go, toss the lemon, olive oil and cherries right before service, to avoid witling the arugula or to prevent color bleed from the cherries.)
Copyright © 2010 Michael Poppa/Singular Communications, LLC.