Warm Chicken Salad

I realize that we have been posting a lot of salads on the blog lately, but it IS salad season and with so many tantalizing produce choices it is hard not to go a little salad crazy!

This recipe is courtesy of Gordon Ramsey. It is another easy dish that is great as a light dinner on a hot summer evening or a quick healthy lunch. I watched Ramsey make this salad on a segment of a show, but I did not find an actual recipe online, so this is essentially my interpretation of his “warm chicken salad”.  The ingredients are provided as seen on the show.  I have added my personal variations at the bottom.

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper

6-8 chicken thighs, skin on

4 roasted red peppers, roughly chopped

1 can chickpeas (28 ounces)

1/4 cup capers

1 handful (~ 1 cup) fresh basil leaves, whole or chiffonade

Dressing:

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper

 

Method:

Place chicken thighs in a bowl with olive oil and salt and pepper, mix thoroughly and let sit while you prep your roasted red peppers.

If you are in a hurry, you can purchased jarred roasted red peppers. I suggest buying higher end as I’ve found cheaper versions do not hold form in the salad and can disintegrate or become mushy. No good.

If you have time, roasting your own red peppers is quite easy and can be done up to four days prior to making this recipe. You can use the gas burner on your stove, a BBQ or the most common method, the oven.

Set oven to broil.  Once the oven reaches temperature, place peppers on middle or upper rack.  Roast peppers for approximately 20 minutes, turning as the skin blisters and turns black. Remove from oven and place in bowl with a plate on top or in a sealed container.  Once cooled, the skin can easily be removed from the flesh. Slice into rings or julienne pieces and set aside.

Heat your BBQ or skillet to medium high and place thighs on skin side down.  This will ensure the skin becomes crisp and will help keep the meat moist. Thighs cook relatively quick, about 12-15 minutes depending on thickness. Turn once and when you think they are done cut into the thickest part, if the juices run clear the chicken is cooked through.

While the chicken is cooking, rinse your chickpeas and basil and place in mixing bowl with capers. I prefer to chiffonade  my basil but as you will be adding the warm chicken and the basil will wilt you may prefer to leave the leaves whole.

Add in your peppers and once the chicken is cooked, slice and add it to the salad, toss with dressing and serve.

* I have made different variations of this salad depending on what I have in my fridge. This is the beauty of salads – they are so easily modified!  Also, I am not known for strict adherence to recipes.   Rather, I tend to use recipes as a guide and add my own flare to the dish. This drives my husband crazy as he is meticulous when it comes to following directions.  As this recipe comes from Gordon Ramsey, I made it exactly as directed the first time. It was fabulous, however, living zero waste it is not always easy to find capers in delicatessen shops so I have substituted green olives and it was equally as great. I now also add crushed garlic to the dressing and I am going to try adding sun dried tomatoes and goat cheese next time I serve this dish.

Served with fresh baguette, this makes approximately four servings. Last time I served it, it was a perfect light meal for it meant people had room for the warm strawberry crumble that followed. If you are serving the salad on its own, it will make two to three servings.

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