Grilled Chicken & Two Bean Salad

I’m getting better at cooking for Client.  I’m faster, my knife skills are more efficient, and I’m forcing myself to think about the order I prepare things to best use my time in the kitchen.  Some of this improvement is culinary school, but I’m also working on being as mindful as possible while planning and executing dishes.  That being said, I am always looking for recipes that are impressive and tasty without being heavy on prep.  This one fit the bill, and also helped me use up three pounds of Costco green beans.  It’s from All You, September 2014.

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/grilled-chicken-bean-salad

Grilled Chicken & Two Bean Salad

Ingredients

3/4 pound green beans, trimmed, cut into bite-size pieces
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
1 small shallot, finely chopped (about 2 1/2 Tbsp.)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 14-oz. can white beans, drained
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Preparation

1. Combine green beans and 1 cup lightly salted water in a microwave-safe bowl; cover. Microwave on high until beans are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain.

2. In a bowl, whisk 3 Tbsp. oil along with mustard, vinegar, 1/2 tsp. salt and shallot. Add green beans, tomatoes and white beans and toss to coat.

3. Preheat a gas grill to high. Brush chicken with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill, covered, until chicken is cooked through, turning once, 8 to 10 minutes total. Let cool slightly; chop.

4. Add chicken to bowl and toss again. Serve. 

20151212_125516

I didn’t grill the chicken because I’m pretty sure there was snow on the ground when I tested this recipe (my last edit shows December 20!). I also used sun dried tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes (I think there was a clearance bonanza).  Other than that, I prepared everything according to the directions.  I remember very distinctly learning about emulsions in culinary food prep– I was fascinated to see Chef add olive oil in a thin stream during his lecture and demo of salad dressing.  It truly emulsified– not what you see when you shake a bottle or cruet of oil and vinegar.  I was quite pleased to see the same results on this dressing when I followed his lead.

Verdict– delicious!  The mustard and red wine vinegar gave the dressing a tart and spicy bite, and I loved the crisp tender texture of the green beans (almost squeaky, if you will).  This dish can be eaten warm or cold.  It made a great lunch, but is also an easy but elegant dinner.

If you want to make this recipe vegetarian,  swap out the chicken for firm tofu, tempeh, or meatless crumbles or nuggets.  You could just as easily use turkey tenderloins instead of the chicken, too.  I would definitely make this again.

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