This blackened chicken salad is colorful, delicious, and made with fresh ingredients. It embodies all that I love about summer meals. It is easy to prepare, but looks and tastes incredible. The colors of the fresh fruit and vegetables this time of year make this plate look like a work of art. This salad was inspired by a surprisingly good meal that Jackie and I enjoyed with my daughter during one of her softball tournaments. We were in the middle of an unfamiliar small town, searching for a good place to eat. Whenever we are in this situation, we love to take advantage of it by searching out good local restaurants rather than settling for a familiar chain. In this case we lucked out. We found a charming place where the menu was diverse yet refined. The food was surprisingly fresh and very tasty. Jackie, always looking for a healthy option, chose the daily special: a kale salad with blackened chicken. It was a great combination of flavors (and I know because I always get to eat what she cannot finish). For our blackened chicken salad, we chose to use garden fresh greens, organic chicken breast, and plump chambers peaches. I decided to grill the peaches to bring out their natural sweetness, and to top our salad with blue cheese. In addition, I created a salad dressing very similar to our Dijon Grilled Chicken marinade, which added just the right amount of complexity and sweetness to this dish. The blackened chicken really gives this salad a unique flavor, and it balances out the sweetness. Serve this summer salad as an entrée or a side; it is the perfect healthy meal on a hot summer day.
A fresh salad with the sweetness from fresh grilled peaches, the creaminess of the blue cheese and the subtle kick from the blackened chicken.
- 2 4 oz chicken breast
- Cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp Cajun spice
- 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
- 6 ounces of your favorite salad greens
- 1 peach (fresh)
- Cooking spray
- For the dressing:
- 1 lemon
- 1 lime
- 1/4 C brown sugar
- 2 tbsp mustard ( Dijon or whole grain)
- 1 tsp chopped garlic
- 1/2 C olive oil
- 1/4 C white balsamic vinegar
- Heat a cast iron skillet until super hot.
- Sprinkle Cajun spice over chicken breast until thoroughly coated.
- Place chicken in skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes (do not use any oil in the pan).
- Turn chicken over and cook additional 4-5 minutes.
- This may smoke a lot, so do this in kitchen that is well-ventilated.
- Remove chicken from pan and let rest while preparing dressing.
- To grill peaches:
- Slice into wedges and spray with cooking spray and place on medium high grill for 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove and allow to cool at room temperature for 3-4 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl juice the lemon and lime, add the brown sugar, garlic, and mustard and mix together.
- Add vinegar and while whisking slowly drizzle the olive oil in mixture until well combined.
- To assemble salad:
- Place greens on plate, top with crumbled blue cheese, cherry tomatoes, grilled peaches and sliced carrots.
- Slice chicken breast and top salad.
- Drizzle dressing over top and enjoy.