Sunday, August 10, 2014

Grilled Chicken and Romaine Salad


This is a huge hit every time I serve it to a crowd.  It's extremely easy and an inexpensive way to feed a lot of people.  One head of romaine was .98 at Wal-Mart and you can get great deals on it at SAMs and farmer's markets as well, making it super duper budget friendly. If you want a home run impression, then add a little adobo sauce to your ceasar dressing to make a chipotle ceasar.  People won't stop talking about it.

Ingredients:

  • grilled romaine lettuce
  • dried cranberries (or cherries...mmmm cherries...)
  • blue cheese crumbles
  • toasted chopped almonds (sliced or slivered will work well too)
  • ceasar dressing
  • perfectly grilled chicken 
Seasoning for romaine: oil of your choice, sea salt and pepper
Seasoning for the chicken: oil of your choice, sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder, chili flake 

1.  Season your chicken.  I used sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder and red chili flake.  The difference between table salt and sea salt (or coarse kosher salt) is HUGE.  Trust me on this one.  Try it next time.  Just go easy.  You don't need as much as table salt.

2.  Grill your chicken.  After you have brought your grill up to temperature (we usually do about 600 degrees for 5-10 minutes) bring your grill back down to medium.  We have a few meat rules in our house:  FLIP THE MEAT ONCE.  If you flip back and forth...well.  Stop it. Flip your meat when your edges are nice and white and there's a little pink on top.  The other one is: LET THE MEAT REST BEFORE YOU CUT IT.  For crying out loud, you'll let the juices run out.  Do you want dry meat?  Do you?  Well do you?  (Cook chicken to an internal temperature of 160)
Beautiful, huh?

3.  While the chicken is cooking throw your chopped or sliced almonds in a skillet and toast them.  Please toss them occasionally.  You want them toasted, not burnt and get this, you'll know when their done when you smell toasted almonds (about 2-3 minutes).  Crazy, but that's what the professionals say.




4.  Now let's start on the romaine.  This will grill in a cinch, so do this last while the chicken is resting (remember, our meat rules).  Cut romaine in half length-wise, leaving the core in tact. 

5.  Season with oil, sea salt and pepper.

6. Throw them babies on the grill.  About 1-2 minutes on each side. 
You want just a little bit of char on the leaves.

7.  Your chicken is still resting, remember? When your romaine is done, cut it length wise and then cut the other direction making nice little "romaine squares" as I like to call them in my head.

8.  See?  This is well rested chicken.  Now cut your chicken in your desired grilled chicken eating shape.  Sometimes I like squares, sometimes I like thin strips. 
I wanted strips today.

9.  Top your grilled romaine with your cranberries, toasted almonds, chicken, blue cheese and of course, dressing. 



-Hey Honey, can I take a picture of you eating the salad?
-No.

Hope you enjoy, I know we did!

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