This big salad, made with precooked chicken, is perfect for a hot night when you don’t want to cook. Bold chipotle chilies perk up the lemon-basil dressing. Serve it with crusty bread and finish with cooling slices of fresh melon. Get a recipe for Crusty No-Knead French Bread.
Lemon-Chipotle Chopped Salad Recipe
• 1 roasted chicken, about 2 pounds
• 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 6 tablespoons olive oil
• 1⁄3 cup minced fresh basil
• 1 shallot, minced
• 1 to 1-1⁄2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
• Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
• 2 cucumbers (Asian or Persian preferred), halved lengthwise and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
• 2 heirloom tomatoes, diced
• 1 red bell pepper, diced
• 1 to 2 romaine hearts, trimmed and chopped
• 1 large avocado, diced
1. Pull chicken meat from bones, discarding skin. Cut meat into bite-size pieces and transfer to a large salad bowl. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine mustard and lemon juice, and whisk to blend. Gradually whisk in oil. Mix in basil, shallot and chipotle with its sauce. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Mix 1⁄4 cup dressing into chicken and marinate while preparing remaining ingredients.
4. Mix cucumbers, tomatoes and bell pepper into chicken. Mix in lettuce. Add enough dressing to lightly coat ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning. Toss in avocado and serve. Serves 4.
You can often find high-quality rotisserie chicken in grocery store delis. Otherwise, consider roasting a chicken or two on the weekend; strip the meat from the bones and store it for use throughout the week. The dressing for this salad can be made a day ahead and refrigerated; mix in vegetables just before serving. For a meatless version, replace chicken with two 15-ounce cans chickpeas. Simmer beans with 1⁄2 cup water and 1⁄4 cup dressing for five minutes; cool before using.
Put healthful, yummy dinners on the table with 4 Fresh and Fast Weeknight Meals.
Recipe adapted from Weeknight Fresh & Fast by Kristine Kidd, published by Williams-Sonoma, 2011.