Off the Grill: Chicken Salad Chicken salads are great dishes, either as the start to a meal or it is the meal itself. This warm chicken salad goes great with warm and toasted garlic bread or grilled garlic crostini.
You will need:
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1½ tablespoons pink peppercorns, or 1½ teaspoons green peppercorns mixed with 1 tablespoon of raw honey
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ¾ – 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, (3 breast halves, minus tenderloins)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups pink grapefruit segments, plus juice
- ½ teaspoon Dijon style mustard
- 3-4 chives
- 7-8 ounces or 1 bag of arugula leaves, washed and dried
In a small cup, combine the sherry vinegar and peppercorns. Leave them to soak as you prepare the chicken. In a separate, large shallow, plate, combine two tablespoons of the oil with the balsamic vinegar. Take your chicken pieces and put them in between pieces of plastic wrap and pound them to a thickness of about ¾ of an inch using a rolling pin or mallet. After pounding, dip the chicken in your oil and vinegar mixture, coating each side evenly. Season each piece lightly with salt and pepper, then cover them and let stand for about 15 minutes in order for the flavors to sink into the chicken.
Prepare the grill and put it to high heat. If using a gas grill, prepare the grill to medium heat, getting ready to fan flames if they get too out of control. Before laying your chicken down on it, lightly coat your grill rack with oil.
Prepare your grapefruit by cutting off the top and bottom of the fruit and removing the white pith from the fruit. Start the cut from above going downwards. Once you’ve peeled the fruit completely, put the meat in a fine strainer and cut between the sections of the fruit using a paring knife. Collect al the fruit and the juice in the bowl, making sure to squeeze the extra juice out of any remaining pulp.
After all that, the chicken is done marinating and is ready to be grilled. Cook each side for about four minutes until the chicken is just cooked through. Once cooked, transfer them to a chopping board and cut them into ¼ to ½ inch wide strips. Cover the pieces loosely to keep them warm. Drain the grapefruit segments and reserve the juice for later on.
While the chicken is grilling, the vinaigrette can already be prepared. Whisk together the remaining oils, 1 tablespoon reserved grapefruit juice and mustard in a large mixing bowl. Snip the chives and whisk them well into the mixture. Don’t forget to ad salt and pepper and adjust as you go along. Finally, add the arugula to finally toss and lightly coat each leaf.
Now, you can plate your salad. Arrange some of the arugula leaves on a plate, topping it with chicken slices and some of the grapefruit segments. Drizzle each plate with some vinaigrette and top it off with soaked peppercorns. Serve the salad immediately and enjoy.