Summer is here — or so I am told. The Bay Area is flirting with sunny days, but they’re still the exception and not the rule. And besides, it’s the Bay Area. It isn’t summer until it’s 55 and foggy every day.
Regardless, its the time of year that I come out of hibernation. I get excited about produce and cooking and lifting and dancing. My lifestyle shifts and with it, so goes my diet. The dish du jour right was created in a friend’s kitchen many years ago and promptly forgotten. Then, about a month ago, she asked me to make it. I wracked my brain for what I had put together “that one time [I] came over, and we watched the live recording of Rent and [I] made that amazing salad.”
Here’s what I knew: I pan fried chicken. I used the drippings as dressing. There were walnuts and blackberries.
So, over the last month or so I’ve been working with those little clues and finally have a tested, actual final(ish) product. It changes a little with every attempt, but the core flavors are the same.
Blackberry Balsamic Chicken Salad
Pan-Fried Chicken Ingredients
- 1 package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tbsp of granulated garlic
- A generous sprinkling of sea salt
- Olive oil (enough to cover the bottom of a medium skillet)
- 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 package blackberries
- 1 box arugula or spinach or spring mix
- ½ red onion, diced
- 2 avocados
- 1oz goat cheese (or herbed goat cheese) my fave part
- 1 handful of walnuts, roughly chopped
Step 1: Get the Chicken Rolling
- Cover the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of olive oil. Turn on the burner to medium-high.
- Optional: add the diced garlic and chopped onion to the bottom of the pan, and lightly brown before adding the chicken.
- Use scissors to cut the chicken into thin (1in) slices and spread evenly in the bottom of the pan.
- Add balsamic, salt and garlic powder.
- On medium heat, cook chicken until browned on one side (7-8 minutes, maybe? I don’t know).
Step 2: Prep the Salad ingredients
- Place lettuce in extra large salad bowl.
- Add red onion, blackberries, walnuts, and cheese on top of the salad.
- Seed the avocado and cut a criss-cross pattern on the meat. Squeeze the meat into the salad.
Step 3: Finish the Chicken
- Flip the chicken and let brown on the other side (3-5 minutes maybe?).
- How do you know when it’s done? Cut it open. Pick your thickest piece and cut it open. If it is pink in the middle, keep cooking it for 3-4 more minutes.
Step 4: Final Steps
- Remove chicken from heat and pour into the salad bowl.
- Using tongs, mix the salad with the chicken and drippings.