As the weather slowly begins to warm up and the days are filled with more bright and happy sunlight, my cravings begin to gravitate towards the colorful, crisp, and fresh.
And often, it's a lovely salad that fits that bill, scrumptiously.
I've always been a real sucker for a good salad; I mean, I truly love them all, including even the slightly dainty, micro-green-y, leafy ones with just a sprig of this over here, and a sprig of that over there.
Hey, I'm even happy to take just a wedge of lemon and a little olive oil with some salt and pepper on the side!
But I also love being able to make a munch-able meal out of a deliciously hearty chopped-style of salad, one complete with a nice, crispy and golden chicken breast, some fresh, crunchy greens, some toasted nuts, and a gloriously glossy and bold vinaigrette, one with a hint of both sweet and savory to it.
And this vibrant, summer-ready, totally bold and zesty Crispy Honey Mustard Chicken Chopped Salad is exactly what I'm all about when having a salad just sounds good.
It's the kind of salad that you actually crave.
Chopped romaine, fresh sweet and juicy cherry tomatoes, and crunchy toasted almonds are all invited to the party; and with some tender chunks of crispy-coated and savory chicken, plus a generous drizzle of a honey-mustard vinaigrette, it's an amazingly delicious, healthy, and seasonal way to get your salad fix on.
So flavorful and hearty, and perfect to toss together for a light evening meal, or a lunch on-the-go.
So with “salad season” pretty much here to for us to enjoy for a while, why not make it the most delicious, colorful, sweetly-zesty and crispy one that we can?
Taste what's good and pass it on.
Crispy Honey Mustard Chicken Chopped Salad
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves about 4
• 1 pound chicken breast tenders, sliced in half lengthwise to create thinner strips
• Black pepper
• ¼ cup Honey-Mustard Dressing (recipe follows below)
• 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
• ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 eggs, whisked
• Canola or vegetable oil, for shallow frying
• 3 hearts romaine, chopped into bite-size pieces
• 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
• ½ cup toasted, sliced almonds
• ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
-Add the chicken to a medium size bowl, and sprinkle over a couple of good pinches of salt and pepper, plus the ¼ cup of Honey Mustard Dressing; allow the chicken to marinate for at least 15 minutes, or even a couple of hours, if you have the time.
-Once ready to shallow fry, combine the panko and the parmesan in a small bowl, and set aside for just a moment.
-Allow any excess marinade to drip off the chicken, then dredge each strip in the flour, then dip into the whisked eggs, and dredge in the panko and parmesan mixture; place the strips onto a clean plate or platter.
-Add enough oil to a large skillet or pan to come up about 2” (enough to shallow fry), and turn the heat on medium-high; once the oil is hot, add a few of the breaded chicken strips into the oil, and fry for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden-brown and cooked through; repeat until all strips are fried.
-Once the strips are slightly cool, chop into bite-size pieces.
-To assemble the salad, add the chopped romaine greens, the cherry tomatoes, the sliced almonds, and the cilantro to a large bowl, and drizzle in some of the dressing; toss the coat, then divide equally among plates, and top with some of the crispy chicken, drizzled with a little extra dressing, if desired.
Honey Mustard Dressing Ingredients:
• ½ cup mayonnaise
• ¼ cup sour cream
• ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
• 3 tablespoons, heaping, honey
• 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
• 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
• 1 teaspoon, heaping, dried tarragon leaves
• ¾ teaspoon, plus a pinch, salt
• ¼ teaspoon black pepper
• ¼ cup olive oil
-Add all of the ingredients up to and including the black pepper into the bowl of a food processor, and process until smooth; then, with the processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until well blended and emulsified.
-Serve immediately, or keep in a covered container in fridge.