March 11, 2009
Never mind the fact that there are flurries dancing outside my window. Remember last week when it was 16C in Toronto and girls were wearing skirts without tights and for a brief, fleeting moment it felt like winter was almost finished for the year? Wearing my spring jacket put me in the mood for salad and I’ve had it just about every day since.
A side salad is one thing, but I love a Big Salad; a salad that eats like a meal. This Chicken B.L.T. Salad is one of my favorites. Think everything that’s good about a B.L.T. sandwich with less guilt (thanks, lettuce!). This was a staple on our dinner table all through the summer, and I even made it for a casual meal with dinner guests.
Cooking the bacon in the oven makes it much crispier and seems to drain out more oil, making it easier to crumble.
Chicken B.L.T. Salad
4 chicken breasts, trimmed
Coarse salt and pepper
8 slices of bacon
1/3 cup buttermilk
3 tbsps. Miracle Whip or low-fat mayo
2 tbsps. apple cider vinegar
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 head of green or Romaine lettuce
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Arrange chicken breasts on roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with coarse salt and ground pepper (both sides). Bake on middle rack for 35-40 minutes, until cooked through.
2. Arrange bacon on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. When there is about 15 minutes left of cooking time for the chicken, place in the oven and bake until browned and crisp.
3. When chicken is cooked, place on a cutting board and tent with foil for 5-10 minutes. Cut into cubes once cooled. Place bacon on a paper-towel lined plate to drain. Once the bacon is cool, crumble.
4. While the chicken and bacon is cooking, whisk together buttermilk, Miracle Whip and apple cider vinegar. Season with salt and ground pepper.
5. Toss lettuce, scallion and tomatoes in a large salad bowl. Add chicken and bacon and toss with buttermilk dressing. Add croutons and serve.
This salad tastes best with a tall glass of something cold, on your balcony. Soon my dears, soon!