Saturday, July 2, 2011

Chicken Salad With Vinagrette and Herbs

     I love to cook.  My favorite thing to do is get in the kitchen and create something with ingredients me and the kids love.  I was trying out different kinds of chicken salad and made this and it is now one of the kids' favorite.  Two problems, though.  I love to cook, but hate cleaning up the kitchen afterwards!  Second, I am terrible at just guessing and not measuring and writing down new things.  I have given this idea a few times and I am sure it is always different.  Here is the one for today!

     I bake chicken seasoned with salt and pepper.  I usually bake 6 boneless skinless breasts, but you can bake more or less.  After it is cooked and cooled, I cut it into about 1 inch pieces, or sometimes I just shred it.  It is better in larger pieces than too fine for this recipe. I add 1 cup each of chopped red pepper, bell pepper, celery, and red onion.    Sometimes I leave out the red onion.  Vidalia onions are really good in it too. Then,  I add salt and pepper to taste and toss.

     In a separate bowl, I put in the juice of 3 lemons.  I know that sounds like a lot, but it really makes a difference.  Then, about 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 3/4 to 1 cup extra virgin olive oil, 3 Tablespoons dijon mustard, and 3 Tablespoons each of basil, rosemary, oregano, and parsley. (If I don't have all of those individually, I will use Italian seasoning.)  I use dried herbs, but you can certainly use fresh.  I would still use a good bit even if it is fresh. Whisk it all together and pour over chicken and toss. 

     This is so easy to change around the ingredients according to what you like.  The best thing is it is really good for summer because there isn't any mayonnaise.  The lemon juice really gives it a fresh taste.  I should have made some so I would have a picture, but I wanted to give you the recipe for the holiday weekend with cookouts and picnics.

         This is a really light and flavorful chicken salad.  The kids like it with crackers, but you can also eat it like you would any other chicken salad sandwich.  (It is really good with ciabata rolls, arugula, and red onion.)

    If any of you try it, let me know what you think!  Let me know too if you find a variation I should try.

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