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Thursday, July 10, 2008

a healthy bear: provencal chicken salad with roasted peppers and artichokes

chicken artichoke olive salad

For the second salad from my new cookbook (Raising the Salad Bar), I tried this provencal chicken salad - it was delicious. The only problem: I halved the recipe (originally for 4 servings), but this didn't make nearly enough for a hungry bear trying to eat healthy... So even though it was delicious, I had to make a couple grilled cheeses immediately afterwards. I think the chicken salad would keep, and could be delicious in a pita, so next time I'll make the full recipe.

Grocery list (note this is for the full recipe, directly from the book): 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (I didn't have any so I skipped this), handful artichoke hearts (1 14-oz can), 4 chicken breasts, 1 roasted red bell pepper, 1/2 cup french green olives, 3 T minced parsley, 4 cups mixed baby greens (I substituted arugula). For the dressing: 2 T red wine vinegar, 2 tsp dijon (Roland extra strong recommended!), 1/2 tsp minced garlic (1 clove), 6 T olive oil, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, pepper.

garlic roast chicken

I started by roasting the chicken with a few minced garlic cloves, a couple of sprigs fresh thyme, and lemon slices (drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast at 425 for 25-30 minutes - covered in more detail here).

roasted red pepper

While the chicken is roasting, you can also roast your own fresh pepper if you don't have the jarred kind. Just place it directly on the oven rack - place a pan or some foil on the rack just below it though, because it will drip as it cooks. Every 5-10 minutes, use tongs to rotate the pepper so it gets charred on all sides. It will be very soft and juicy when it's ready, usually about 30 minutes.

roasted red pepper 2

Let the pepper cool, then pinch it with the tongs - the skin will fall right off. Slice into thin strips.

artichoke olive parsley

While the chicken and pepper are roasting, prep the other ingredients. Mince the parsley, chop the artichoke hearts, and pit and slice the olives. For the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients.

dressed chicken salad

Chop the chicken and place in a large bowl. Add the artichoke, olives, sundried tomatoes (chopped, if you're using them), peppers and parsley. Toss with the dressing. Arrange the lettuce or arugula on plates, the spoon the chicken salad on top. I was worried this would be dry since the leaves weren't dressed separately, but the dressing from the chicken salad seeped through and the consistency was perfect (just like the recipe said it would do). Another winner from this cookbook...

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