I made my favorite Chicken Salad for lunch today. The market had beautiful organic romaine lettuces yesterday, so I picked one up along with a lemon, an orange and some Kalamata olives. This is a satisfying, whole meal salad with a flavorful, citrusy dressing.
I cut two boneless, skinless chicken thighs into strips. They can be up to two inches wide and one inch thick. You want them to cook quickly and at the same speed. I fired up a cooktop burner to seven (on an electric stove with a scale of low to ten or aa llittle hotter than medium on a gas stove) and heated up my trusty cast iron skillet (ten inch diameter) for a few minutes.
I lightly coated the pan bottom with oil and browned the chicken thigh strips on one side and then the other. I cook them until areas on each side are crispy and the meat is cooked through but not dry.
As the chicken was cooking, I washed, drained and tore up half of a smallish Romaine lettuce and placed a layer of it on a dinner plate. I sliced the radishes and green onion, cubed the avocado, and drained the olives.
I whisked up just enough dressing for one salad in the bottom of a mug. You can use fresh lemon or orange juice or both together. The citrusy dressing contrasts wonderfully with the pan roasted chicken, crisp vegetables, jucy tomatoes, nutty pecans, sweet currants and fragrant olives.
I assembled the salad, lettuce first, on the plate. I drained the chicken on paper towels, patting them lightly to take off any excess fat, piled them onto the plate of salad, drizzled with dressing and sprinkled currants and pecans over all.
This makes one salad and takes fifteen minutes to prepare. Double it for two and quadruple for four.
2 boneless skinless chicken thighs
OR 1 boneless skinless chicken breast
1/2 tbsp oil for the pan
1/2 Romaine lettuce, washed and torn
10 to 20 Kalamata Greek olives
4 red radishes, washed and sliced
1 large or 2 small fresh green onions (scallions), washed and sliced
1/2 avocado, cubed
A handful of cherry tomatoes (when in season)
A sprinkle of raw or toasted pecans
A sprinkle of dried currants
1/8 cup Italian Balsamic or red wine vinegar
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp fresh lemon and/or orange juice
1/2 tsp grated lemon and/or orange peel
1/2 tsp dried dill weed
Salt and pepper to taste