Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Swimsuit Season Chicken and Fruit Salad

Salads have never been my thing, but with each year I seem to find myself reminded that they need to become my thing. I think when I was finally able to build salads the way I like them it changed my opinion. (Thank you Coolgreens!) I am not much of a fan of thick dressings like ranch; which is good because the creamy dressings tend to be loaded with calories anyway. Since I have sometimes found myself making supper for just me lately I took the liberty of creating a nice girly salad that I rather enjoyed from seasonal fruit and items already in my refrigerator. 

You will need: 
  • Chicken - 2 or 3 large thighs or a breast 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • Non-stick cooking spray or oil 
  • 1 T spicy mustard 
  • 1 clove minced garlic 
  • 2 T orange marmalde 
  • 1 T raspberry jam 
  • Greens - I used the lettuce, cabbage, carrot mix 
  • 2 T fat-free raspberry vinaigrette 
  • 1 T chipotle mayo 
  • Granny Smith apple 
  • Orange 

I prefer dark meat so I typically choose to use thighs, but chicken breast or tenders work great too. Heat your skillet to medium, spray with cooking spray and add your garlic. Remove the skin from the chicken if it is not trimmed. Salt and pepper the chicken to taste. Rub evenly with the spicy mustard, marmalade and jam. Lay the chicken and any excess wet ingredients in the skillet with the garlic. Cover and continue cooking about five minutes on each side. When the chicken has cooked through remove it to a covered plate. Reduce heat and add the vinaigrette and mayo to the remaining liquid. Mix thoroughly. Slice the apple and oranges into small chunks. Additionally, slice or chunk the chicken. After cutting the chicken return it to the dressing liquid just to coat. Toss the other ingredients together and plate them. Place the chicken on the salad and drizzle the liquid over the top. 

Minus a couple ingredients this is a really healthy meal and pretty filling too. This should make two decent sized portions, especially if you are serving soup or some other side. Even if you choose to eat the whole thing by yourself you will not blow through all your calories in one meal, unlike many restaurant salads. 

I mentioned this being a girly salad above, but really it has a nice blend of sweet, tart and spicy. I did give my husband a piece of the chicken and he did rather like it so it is weeknight dinner for two friendly. But I would say this is ideal for a ladies summertime lunch. Double, triple, etc. the recipe, place it in a big decorative salad bowl and it is a self serve dish that can be made ahead. And, Voila! Everyone will think you ordered in.

And I would like to send very Happy Birthday wishes to my Mom today!

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