Grilled Chicken Salad with Provencal Vinaigrette
September 2, 2011
We got together with our friends the Eklunds for cards last Saturday night. Sue made this fabulous dish that’s a favorite of ours (thank you, Sue!!). It’s beautiful to behold as well as delicious. We brought a mixed greens salad and sauteed corn, which made for a lovely meal. I’ve asked Sue to be guest chef for this post since neither Margaux nor I have made this recipe.
Sue says . . .
On a trip to North Carolina a few years ago, we had the choice to spend the afternoon at the airport waiting for our flight to Minneapolis – or spend our time at a distinctly unique food market and cafe. We opted for the unique experience at Sara Foster’s Market in Durham, which is filled with awesome salads, casseroles, deli sandwiches, breads, desserts and more. We struck up a conversation with the staff, and Sara invited us to join her as she tasted and selected wine from various vendors. Needless to say, I bought several signed cookbooks, jams, oils, etc.! This delicious warm chicken salad is from the The Foster’s Market Cookbook (2002) and is one of my favorites for a late summer dinner, using fresh garden tomatoes and basil. It’s easy to make and you can see how beautiful it is in a large, low serving bowl.
The Chicken Salad
Canola or safflower oil for oiling the grill top
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 red onion, sliced in half-inch rounds
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes (I used oil-packed)
1 cup drained, quartered artichoke hearts (I used marinated)
3 ripe garden tomatoes (regular or heirloom), cored, seeded and cut in large chunks
2 tablespoons drained capers
6 large fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
1 cup Provencal Vinaigrette (recipe below)
Salt and pepper
Basil leaves for garnish
Prepare a hot fire in a gas or charcoal grill. Brush the grill top lightly with the canola or safflower oil. Toss the chicken and the onion with the olive oil and vinegar in a large bowl. Let marinate for at least an hour or up to 4 hours. Grill the chicken and the onion directly over the fire. For the chicken, about 7-8 minutes per side until done (firm to the touch/juices run clear). For the onion about 4 minutes per side, until cooked but crisp tender. Set the chicken aside to cool for 20-30 minutes. Cut the onion rounds in half and place in a large, shallow bowl. (Pasta serving bowls are perfect for this dish.)
After the chicken has rested, slice the breasts on the diagonal into half-inch slices, about 8-10 per breast half. Add the sliced chicken to the bowl with the onions along with the sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, fresh tomatoes, capers, sliced basil, and some of the vinaigrette (about half or to your taste) and salt/pepper. Toss gently to mix and garnish with additional basil leaves. Pour the remaining vinaigrette into a small pitcher and pass at the table.
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 garden tomato, cored, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons red onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon drained capers
3 fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup canola or safflower oil
salt and pepper
Place the first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl. Slowly add the oils and whisk until incorporated and slightly emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. This can be made up to 6 days in advance of use. If you make ahead, refrigerate in an airtight container.