Summer Grilled Chicken Salad
- Ingredients and Prep Work for Salad:
- • Fresh Salad Greens – 8 oz, trimmed, washed, and dried
- • Summer Melons (Muskmelons, Watermelons) – 1 qt, balled or large dice
- • Walnuts – 1 cup, rough chop
- • MI Small Curd Cottage Cheese – ¾ cup
- Ingredients and Prep Work for Salad Dressing:
- • Greek Style Plain Yogurt – 1 5oz individual yogurt – add to medium bowl
- • Orange Juice and Zest from 1 Orange – Whisk into yogurt
- • White Wine Vinegar – 1 Tbsp. – Whisk into mixture
- • Honey – ½ Tbsp. – whisk into mixture
- • Olive Oil – 2 Tbsp. – whisk into mixture
- • Salt – a pinch to taste
- • Fresh Herbs – optional
- • Ziploc Bag – 1 each – Add the Dressing and snip the corner. Drizzle on salad once completed.
- Ingredients and Prep Work for Chicken Brine: (Do this step a couple hours before)
- • Apple Cider – 2 cups – Add to large bowl/container
- • Salt – 2 Tbsp. – add to cider
- • Honey – 1 1/2 Tbsp. – add to above
- • Chicken Breast or Thigh, boneless – 1 ½ lb. – add to brine – let it hang out for a couple of hours. When it’s time to go outside and grill, drain the chicken, rinse, and let the chicken dry. Coat with a little olive oil for the grill.
Grill and Plating Instructions:
1. Your grill should already be on.
2. Ensure all the above prep is done. I would plate all components of the salad and leave chilled before I went to grill if possible. Then all you’re doing is adding sliced chicken from the grill.
3. To toast walnuts – make a small foil “purse” for the chopped nuts. Lightly salt them and close the purse and make a small vent. Place on grill. Shake every couple of minutes until nuts are fragrant. Do this while you’re cooking the chicken and sweet potato starter.
4. To grill chicken – It should already be lightly coated in olive oil. Grill should be around a medium to medium-high heat. Orient it at 45 degrees across your grill grates. Cook for 4 Minutes, then rotate chicken for those lovely grill marks, cooking for another three minutes. Flip chicken, repeating the process. Cook to internal temperature of 165°F. Remove from grill and let rest under foil on a ridged dish. Before serving, slice thinly on a bias, fan over salads, and drizzle with any juices from holding and slicing.
5. To plate salads: Lightly toss greens in a small amount of the dressing. Split amongst 4 bowls. Distribute Melons across salads. Add three tablespoons of cottage cheese, in three “scoops,” to each salad. Arrange ingredients so the chicken has a nice “landing zone” for final service. Chill. To serve, sprinkle with walnuts, fan the grilled chicken over top, and drizzle with remaining dressing.
Note: You can grill the chicken and let it rest under some foil before you grill the starter. If your grill is big enough, you can grill at the same time as the starter, so all you’re doing is slicing the chicken and topping your premade salads with it. Less time actively cooking, more time enjoying.
These “meatballs” have just the right amount of spice. Treat these like traditional meatballs...serve with marinara sauce or pesto on a bed of pasta or make a meatball sub. Or change things up by making the mix into patties for delicious veggie burgers.