Nothing quite satisfies like a fresh and crisp salad and adding chicken only boosts the flavor factor. Not to mention that the protein in this lean meat is a well-known way to up your energy and make you feel fuller. A perfect combination of chicken salad may sound tricky, but it’s hard to go wrong with the right ingredients.
Set out two boneless skinless chicken breasts to thaw. Next, tenderize your chicken to add moistness to the meat and to ensure the breasts all cook at the same rate. Place your poultry in a plastic bag and pound with a mallet or rolling pin until your pieces are all the same thickness and fully tenderized.
Flavorful chicken adds pop to any salad. Marinate your raw chicken in your favorite blend of herbs and spices for at least an hour before cooking to infuse the flavor into the meat. Basil, lemon and thyme are all popular salad spices and give your chicken a hint of zest.
Place your marinated chicken into a large saucepan, cover with water and place on high heat until boiling. Then, cover the pot and simmer for twenty minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. Pierce the chicken with the fork. If the chicken juice runs clear, your chicken is fully poached and safe to eat. Remove the pot lid, turn off the heat, and let the chicken cool in the water.
Pick your favorite blend of mixed greens or lettuce. Romaine lettuce is a popular salad choice, and kale or spinach adds extra crunch, not to mention antioxidants for your health. Wash your greens thoroughly with water and drain them. Toss them into a large salad bowl to create the bed for the rest of your ingredients.
Select two ripe avocados for your mixture. The avocados should be somewhat soft when squeezed but not mushy, which is an indication of over-ripeness. Slice the avocados in half, then peel off the skin and remove the pits. Dice the avocados and pour them into a mixing bowl. Crush them with the back side of a fork and then use the fork to stir them until blended.
Add two teaspoons of lemon juice to add tartness to your salad or a tablespoon of lime juice for a sweeter flavor, depending on your preference. Combine with your avocados and stir thoroughly. For a richer texture, add a half-cup of low-fat mayonnaise to the mix and stir until well-blended.
Select a variety of cool, crisp veggies to add to your salad mixture. Peel and thinly slice a cucumber, chop up a bell pepper or red onion and dice up a tomato to add more succulent color and freshness to your salad as well as more flavor to your mix.
Remove the chicken breasts from the water and set on a paper towel to dry. Trim away any fat, then slice the chicken into bite-sized cubes or very thin strips. Add the chicken to the mixing bowl. Then, spoon your mixture onto your greens and stir together to make your salad complete.
Open a loaf of bread and remove the crusts from every slice. Leave the bread out the night before to get stale, then brush both sides of each slice with melted butter. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray the bottom of your casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Break up the bread into small pieces, pour into a casserole dish, and bake at 350 degrees for fifteen minutes or until the croutons are golden brown. Spoon the croutons into a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Then, sprinkle the croutons over your salad for a super-crunch that blends perfectly with the juicy flavor of your chicken.
Top your salad with raisins or cranberries for added sweetness. If you prefer a salty accent of flavor, sprinkle on crushed walnuts or almonds. Pour on a little sea salt and ground peppercorn, mix together, and serve on a warm summer day or any time you want an unforgettably refreshing dish.