This is an adaptation of a grilled chicken salad that is served at one of our favorite restaurants. We love the salad but hate the high price, so we decided to see what we could whip up at home.

As it turns out, this version suits us even better than the restaurant version did as it does not contain some ingredients we are unable to eat such as cucumbers. Also, the restaurant version is just “plain old grilled chicken” so we added some zest with a homemade ┬ásauce that kicks up the flavor a notch.

Equipment You Will Need

  • Grill
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Medium saucepan
  • Wire whisk
  • Kitchen shears
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Meat thermometer

Preheat the grill to approximately 425 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit

Shopping List of Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breast cutlets
  • 1 bag salad greens of your choice
  • 1 small can of mandarin oranges
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions (green ends and white sections)
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • Shredded cheese of your choice for topping

Barbecue Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 cup catsup
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon mustard
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

Here’s what you do:

Cut the chicken into four portions; set aside. Combine the other ingredients in a small mixing bowl and beat with a wire whisk until well blended.

Put the cut-up chicken pieces in the saucepan and pour the barbecue sauce over them. Place pan over high heat and bring liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook the chicken in the sauce for about three to five minutes.

Remove pan from heat, and put the chicken on the grill. Sear both sides (about one to two minutes per side) and test for doneness. Cook until the chicken is at an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (to meet USDA recommendations). Remove chicken from grill and keep warm while you prepare the salad.

Divide the salad greens between four plates and chop into smaller pieces with kitchen shears. (Smaller pieces are easier and neater to eat than large chunks.) Add about 1/8 cup of carrots and green onions to each plate. Add the mandarin oranges in a pleasing pattern.

Cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks and divide evenly between the four plates. Sprinkle with cheese.

We serve this salad bar style with dressings and additional toppings on the side such as:

  • Croutons
  • Slivered almonds or other nuts
  • Raisins or other dried fruit
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Toasted soy nuts
  • Sliced green or black olives
  • Sliced radishes

That way, everyone can fix a salad that suits their individual preferences and tastes. Vary the topping choices based on whatever you have in the refrigerator so if you have mushrooms but no green onions, just make a substitution.

Add breadsticks, crusty whole-grain rolls or bran muffins to round out the meal. For another variation on this theme, you may enjoy reading “Fast and Tasty Grilled Lime Chicken.”

Resources:

Undisclosed author, “Is It Done Yet?” USDA, http://www.fsis.usda.gov/is_it_done_yet/brochure_text/index.asp#5

Image copyright 2012 by D. Cosmato, all rights reserved

 

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