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Monday, March 26, 2012

Berry-best Chicken Salad

Can you tell we watch a little too much Strawberry Shortcake around here? Of course, that threshold is not too hard to surpass. But on with blog business.

I have a confession to make. I do not like salad. I know, it’s shocking. I should say I don’t like lettuce. I love chopped vegetable salads, and I like main dish salads that are heavy on vegetables other than lettuce. And yes, I’ve tried all kinds…it’s not that I tried Iceberg and didn’t care for it. Although I did and didn’t.

Since moving to Wisconsin, we have become Culver’s Butterburger and Custard fans. If you’ve not tried either, they are da bomb. As the kids say. (I know they don’t really say that anymore, but I like to sound hip.) Occasionally, though, if I really want custard after my meal, I order one of their chicken salads instead of a Butterburger. It’s really pointless, since I looked up the nutrition info online and the salad is basically the same as a burger, but I feel virtuous about it.

They do make a darn tasty Strawberry Fields Chicken Salad, and here’s my home version of it.


Chicken Salad with Strawberries

2 boneless chicken breasts, about 6 oz. each

1 heart Romaine lettuce, chopped

2 cups strawberries, chopped (about 4 whole berries per salad)

1/2 to 1 cup Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup green onions, sliced (green parts only)

1/2 cup chopped roasted pistachios, pecans, or almonds (we prefer pistachios)

Raspberry or Cranberry Vinaigrette, store-bought
Strawberry-Balsamic Dressing: Whisk together 1 Tbsp strawberry jam, 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, and 6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil.

1. Pressing down on a chicken breast with one hand, slice horizontally through the center to make 2 thin fillets with each breast. Alternatively, you can buy the thin-sliced ones, but where’s the fun in that?

2. Salt and pepper them well, and place on very hot grill or grill pan. I use a cast-iron grill my GI gave me for Christmas…it works fabulously. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on first, then heat over medium high. Reduce to medium when you put the chicken in, and leave it alone for about 5 minutes, until it turns loose on its own. That means it’s ready to turn over. Cook on the other side for about 3 minutes, until it also turns loose. If you're grilling it outside, I'm sure you know how to cook a piece of chicken, so I won't boss you about it.

3. Remove the chicken and let it rest while you assemble the salads. Divide evenly among 4 chilled plates the lettuce, strawberries, onions, nuts, and cheese. Slice chicken diagonally and arrange prettily (as I did not in the photo) on top of salad, then drizzle with dressing. The strawberries are so juicy and the salad so flavorful, it doesn’t need a lot of dressing.

This comes together in no time…you can easily cut up the lettuce, strawberries, and nuts in the time it takes the chicken to cook. We can sit down to dinner a half hour after I decide to make this. We usually have some sort of French or Italian bread to accompany it…after all, we’re not having custard for dessert when we eat at home!


  1. Mmmmm...........I know what's for dinner one night this week! Would be good with salmon too, I'm bettin'. Thanks for the recipe Megan. :)

    1. I may have to try the salmon version tonight...great suggestion! I'm craving this salad today, and it being Friday, can't do the chicken.
      How'd your friend like the creme brulee?

  2. I think you're rubbing off on me Mz. M--I made almost the identical salad just the other night! Although I do want to make it again, using your dressing recipe. Never thought to add strawberry jam--sounds yummy.

    Too funny about your "confession"! I have to confess I hate making salad. Seems like a lot of fuss for not much bang--but this salad is an exception. Love the sweet berries with the tang of the cheese.

    1. I think salads are like sandwiches...they always taste better when someone else makes it for you. But I guess that's the case with just about anything!


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