Today, we decided to go to the gym together and work on getting our beach bods. While the gym session was quite productive, I kept being tempted to eat out afterwards and buy myself some good ol’ fried chicken. But luckily we have some self-control and we decided to go back home and make ourselves some chicken salad with a honey mustard vinaigrette that we’ve been making for a long time now. I used to think chicken salad was kinda boring and the chicken is kinda tasteless. But that’s not the salad’s fault! It’s the restaurant’s fault for not making it the proper way. Two of the most important things to have in a good chicken salad are: 1) A nicely seasoned and well-cooked chicken breast, and 2) A tasty, flavourful yet not-too-fat vinaigrette. Once you got these two things down, everything else is just a breeze.
Now, I used to avoid making this because to be honest, I don’t like to cook chicken. I find it a bit stressful since you have to cook it just long enough for it to not be undercooked, and not too long for it to be hard and dry. But it’s honestly not that hard to cook. If you ever have doubts whether your chicken is cooked or not and you don’t have a cooking thermometer, then just cut along the thickest part of the chicken breast to see if it is fully cooked through. If it’s not, then leave it to cook some more. As simple as that! And you don’t have to worry about cutting into the chicken breast, since for a chicken salad, you’re serving the chicken in pieces cut laterally.
Oh, and avocados are your best friends. Sometimes chicken salad can be a bit dry if you don’t put a lot of vinaigrette since you wanna cut back on that fat or calorie intake. But avocados are good fat. And they add this smooth, creamy texture to the salad that makes every other element in the dish that much more delicious! For our salad, we also decided to add some walnuts for more texture and to add some crunch. You can add any other kind of nuts you like, we’re thinking of adding some cashews next time we make this! And we forgot to buy some feta cheese, but if you do have it on hand, that would be a great addition to this salad too!
- 1 whole chicken breast, deboned
- 1/2 of an avocado, cut into thin slices
- 3-5 pieces of cherry tomatoes, halved
- Cucumber, cut into thin slices
- Red onions, lightly chopped
- 1 1/2 cup of spinach
- 1 tbsp of chopped walnuts
- 1/8 cup of olive oil
- 1/8 cup of Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp of honey
- 1/8 of lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Season both sides of the chicken with garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Cook chicken over medium high heat with a cover lid for 6-8 minutes on each side until thoroughly cooked, depending on the chicken’s thickness. Once cooked, let cool for 5 minutes.
- To make the vinaigrette, combine the olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey, and lemon juice and mix well.
- Cut the cooked chicken breast laterally into strips of about 2 cm of width.
- In a bowl, mix together the avocado, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onions, spinach, chicken, and vinaigrette.
- Top with walnuts and some red pepper flakes for some extra spiciness.