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Summery, Fruit Infused Salad

I love me some chicken breasts.

Have I mentioned that before? No? Well, you’d better get used to seeing them around here at the Guilty Kitchen. Why? Because they are the ultimate food when it comes to a “blank palette”. A lot of people don’t like them, but I really think it’s because most people overcook them. Because they cook in a very short amount of time, (25 minutes at 375° F), they tend to dry out very quickly. Tell me you haven’t been over at someone’s house at some point in your life, excited to eat a friend or relative’s epicurean creation, and sadly, when it arrives, it is dry, flavourless and unappealing?

If you do tend to overcook your chicken breasts, maybe because someone you know likes them very dry, I recommend a good marinading.You can make them as guilty as you like, or as healthy as you like.You can marinate in oils and vinegars, or in a buttermilk solution or in citrus juice, the possibilities are really endless here.

Today I’m making a healthy, fresh, summer salad to accompany my chicken boobies. I came up with this recipe a bunch of years ago when I wanted to make my own dressing to impress some friends. Well, they were impressed, to say the least, and I’ve made it a few times since then. This is the ultimate incarnation though. I love the way the citrus and honey come together with the fruit of the chicken marinade. I hope you will like it too, now go impress your friends!

Mango Citrus Marinade

1/2 Mango, cubed
juice of half a lime
juice of half a lemon
1 clove garlic, grated
ground pepper
2 small springs fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
2 chicken breasts, cubed

1. Purée mango together with citrus juices. Set aside.
2. Add grated garlic, fresh cracked pepper to taste and rosemary.
3. Pour into plastic bag or other container, add chicken breast cubes and marinate at least 2 hours.

Can you say emulsified? Emulsified! Sorry, I don’t know why, but I really like saying that. This dressing comes out somewhat creamy because of the emulsification. Just remember to whisk like the dickens! (That means really fast!)

Citrus Balsamic Dressing

1 Tbsp. Dijon
1 Tbsp. honey
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tsp. poppy seeds
1/8 tsp. white pepper
zest of one whole lime
juice of half a lime
1 1/2 Tbsp. White Balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1. In a small bowl, mix together the Dijon, honey, garlic, poppy seeds and white pepper.
2. Add zest of lime, lime juice and vinegar, mix very well.
3. Drizzling very slowly, whisk in the oil until all is emulsified. Chill for 1 hour before serving.

Dressing in the making

Citrus and Fennel Salad (for two)

3 cups baby spinach leaves
2 cups romaine lettuce, ripped into small pieces
1 fennel bulb, julienned or sliced very thin
1 small orange, sliced
2 roma tomatoes, cubed
1 avocado, cubed
2 oz. fresh goat’s cheese, cubed (I used Marcella, a surface ripened cheese from Saltspring Island Cheese)

To assemble all your ingredients into a lovely, fresh salad (Best as a composed salad. IE: make them individually on the plates):

1. Remove chicken from marinade and place on skewers (if using wood skewers, soak for 20 minutes first to avoid burning).
2. Cook chicken on medium high heat on grill for approximately 15 minutes or until done to your liking.
3. Assemble all salad ingredients on plates. When chicken is done, serve skewer across salad, drizzle with dressing and serve.

Finished salad

4 comments to Summery, Fruit Infused Salad

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