Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Greek-Inspired Chicken Salad

At least 3 hours or a day ahead poach the chicken.
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 c. dry white wine
1 slice sweet onion
1/4 lemon -- sliced
1 bay leaf
1/2 Tbsp. whole peppercorns
1/2 tsp. flaked salt
In a large skillet, combine wine, onion, lemon, bay leaf, peppercorns and salt, add water so that it will cover the chicken completely. Bring to a boil for about 2 minutes, then turn down heat and add the chicken breasts. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken. Remove from the heat and uncover, allowing chicken to cool in the liquid about a half hour. Remove chicken and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight. Discard liquid. Cut chicken into small 1/2-inch cubes and place into a large mixing bowl.

Salad Ingredients
1 medium eggplant, cut into 3/4 inch rounds
Olive oil
Salt & freshly ground pepper
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced into 1/2 inch squares
1 cup garlic and herb feta cheese (or if not available, regular feta cheese), crumbled
1/4 c. chopped red onion
1/2 c. pitted and quartered kalamata olives
1/2 c. peeled and diced seedless or seeded cucumber

Heat grill to medium high. Brush both sides of the sliced eggplant with olive oil and then season with salt and pepper. Grill until golden and slightly soft (about 2 minutes on a side). Put on a cutting board to cool and then diced into 1/2 inch squares. Placed the eggplant and the remaining salad ingredients in the same bowl as the chicken and mix completely.

Dressing:
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 heaping Tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
1 heaping Tbsp. fresh mint, chopped
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
several grinds of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. flaked salt

Whisk dressing ingredients completely and pour a little over half of the chicken-eggplant combination so that it is completely coated. Serve the remaining dressing with the salad if needed.

To serve: Either place in pita bread pockets as a sandwich or serve on a large Romaine leaf of lettuce and make a lettuce wrap. Serve with a side of my homemade hummus, additional pita as needed, and minted iced tea.

Makes 6 very generous portions.

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