Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Warm Chicken Salad
When the weather is hot I love to eat salad. I eat it every day for lunch and am still more than happy to have it for dinner. But when it comes to dinner I want something a bit more substantial and despite the heat I want something warm.
A few years ago the building where I worked backed one of Canberra's better pubs, Debacle. It is known for its pizza and I have to say many of them were consumed on 2 for 1 Tuesday. However they also always have a great blackboard menu which regularly included fantastic steak, really delicious mussels and a very nice warm chicken salad. It was that salad that provided me with the inspiration for what has become a regular meal in our house, my version of a warm chicken salad.
The thing I love about this salad is that you can make it easily in about 30 minutes. While the potatoes are cooking, you put the chicken on. While those are cooking you assemble the rest and make the dressing. I also usually have most of the ingredients on hand - potatoes and chargrilled capsicum (in a jar) in the pantry, chicken in the freezer, baby spinach in the garden, I just need to remember to buy an avocado.
You can alter the salad to suit your tastes. S doesn't eat avocado so I usually add some cucumber in his. In spring I often add some asparagus that has been cut in lengths and tossed in the chicken pan for a couple of minutes - really just add what you like but do include the chargrilled capsicum it adds a real depth. This salad is best enjoyed warm, but even dressed it survives surprisingly well to have as cold leftovers the next day.
All in all, a simple, tasty, nutritious meal that is perfect for these hot summer nights.
Warm Chicken Salad
6 chat potatos
olive oil spray
2 small chicken breasts (1 if you get one of those giant DD chooks)
1 avocado cut in chunks
2 chargrilled capsicums sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp seeded mustard
1 tsp sugar
cracked black pepper
Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Cut your chat potatoes in half, place on a baking tray, spray lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for approx 30-40 minutes till golden and crispy.
Trim any fat off the chicken and dust on both sides with the paprika, garlic salt and oregano. Heat a frying pan over medium high, spray the chicken with the olive oil spray and fry until cooked through and each side has a nice crust. This should take about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the pan, rest for 5 minutes and thickly slice.
To make the dressing put all the ingredients in a jar and shake well.
To assemble: in a large bowl add a generous handful of baby spinach per person, top with the sliced chargrilled capsicum and avocado. When they are done add the chicken and potato while still hot. Add a couple of tablespoons of dressing and toss. Eat while still warm.