Citrusy Kale Chicken Salad

My mother’s birthday was last month, and to celebrate, she invites all of her friends over for a Ladies Lunch.  I am so glad to be back in my hometown in order to partake in the festivities again!  It was a lovely afternoon of conversation, yummy food, and hanging out with my mom!

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She asked me to help her make this Power Kale Salad from Better Homes and Gardens magazine.  It was a HIT!!  Seriously.  It is one of the best salads ever.

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Oftentimes when you think salad, you think of something plain and boring, something “healthy,” or something crazy-unhealthy (like many fancified restaurant salads pack in quite a few calories or WW points), but this one was nothing of the sort!  Every lady at the party gobbled up a good portion of it.

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I was honestly a little surprised at how much I liked it – tangerines in salad?  Dried cherries?  I was planning to just pick out the dried fruit, and to eat the tangerine separately, but I shocked myself and just ate it in the salad – it packed quite a punch!

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We decided to use a mix of kale and romaine, and that was a wise choice.  Kale is a popular “power food” these days, and there are definitely great things to be said about it, but it’s a bit coarse and if someone happened to not enjoy kale, they’d be out of luck.  I love mixing lettuces, especially ones that are completely different, so it was an added flair.

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Citrusy Kale Chicken Salad

serves 4+

Ingredients:
-4 thin/small skinless, boneless chicken breast cutlets
-3tbsp olive oil
-2 seedless tangerines
-1/2tsp salt
-1/2tsp coarsely ground black pepper
-1/2cu dried tart red cherries (I think we used cranberries or something else instead, but whatever is fine!)
-1/2cu pomegranate blueberry juice
-1tbsp red wine vinegar
-4oz green or purple kale leaves (add/mix in other lettuce if you desire)
-1/2cu thinly sliced red onion
-1 red or green pear, cored and thinly sliced
-1oz shaved parmesan cheese

Directions:
-Preheat oven to 400. Brush chicken with 1tbsp olive oil, and transfer to a foil-lined baking sheet. Finely shred 2tsp peel from the tangerines (the zest), then peel the tangerines and slice crosswise; set aside. Sprinkle chicken with the tangerine zest, 1/4tsp salt and 1/4tsp pepper. Bake 15-20mins or until done. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand at least 5 minutes (this can be done ahead of time and saved until you put the salad together).
-Meanwhile, place cherries in a small microwave-safe bowl, add pomegranate blueberry juice, and microwave for 30 seconds. Let stand for 10 minutes, then drain the cherries, but reserve the juice, and set the cherries aside.
-For the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the reserved juice, remaining 2tbsp olive oil, vinegar, remaining salt and remaining pepper. Pour half of the dressing into a large bowl, then add the kale and onion; toss to coat. Transfer to a serving platter (it makes it look fancier!).
-Slice the chicken, then arrange over the kale mixture, with the tangerines and pear. Top with cherries and shaved parmesan. Drizzle with remaining dressing.

SO. GOOD.

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