Rustic Grilled Chicken Salad is the bomb! When we think of chicken salad, we dream of creamy mayonnaise-laden bowls of goodness. Chopped celery, halved green grapes, and maybe a little dill. But not this time! This hearty, healthy dish came to us via Molly Baz at Bon Appetit and also from Kayla Howey from The Original Dish. Our changes make it K2.0 approved and delicious!
For this rustic meal, you’ll need chicken, asparagus, romaine lettuce, radishes, scallions, and cornichons, which are tiny, slightly sweet pickles. Cornichons are usually located in the specialty cheese department of the market; think charcuterie. You could use any skinless chicken; we always choose tenderloins because they are lean and tender.
Mis en place is vital for this chicken salad, as it comes together quickly at the end. Make the marinade first, and let chicken rest in it for at least 30 minutes before grilling. Slice the radishes and cornichons paper thin. Rough chop dill fronds.
Peel the asparagus with a peeler, then blanch for 60 seconds in boiling water in a skillet. Remove from heat and plunge in ice water to stop the cooking process. Dry it off, and set aside.
Now, time to grill!
The chicken goes on the grill first. When it’s almost done, grill the scallions, for about 60 seconds, or until they first begin to char. We chose a dense whole-grain bread, brushed it with a little olive oil, and grilled it for about one minute. Everything comes together in a large bowl. I love the idea of serving from a large wooden bowl, instead of individual plating. That way, everyone can choose their favorite parts of the salad.
Rustic Grilled Chicken Salad
- Charcoal or gas grill, or indoor grill pan.
For Marinade & Dressing
- ¼ C fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp reduced-sodium Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp low-sodium hot sauce
- 1 tsp whole grain mustard
- 1 tsp cracked pepper
- ¼ C low fat mayonnaise
- ¼ C extra virgin olive oil
For the Salad
- 3 heads Romaine lettuce
- 1 pound chicken tenderloins
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 6 large radishes
- 4 small sliced cornichons
- 4 slices whole grain bread
- 1 Tbsp fresh dill
- Preheat grill to medium high.
- For the marinade: Combine lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, mustard, and pepper in a small bowl. Then, slowly drizzle olive oil in while whisking continuously, to fully incorporate the ingredients.
- Remove ¼C of the mixture to a separate bowl. Fold in the mayonnaise. Set it aside. This will be the salad dressing.
- Place chicken in marinade and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
- While the chicken sits in the marinade, wash and dry the lettuce and all vegetables. Slice root end off the scallions. Snap off tough ends of the asparagus. Slice radishes and cornichons paper thin. Peel asparagus stalks with a vegetable peeler.
- Place a large skillet with about a inch of water on the stove top and bring to a rolling boil. Place peeled asparagus in the skillet and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and plunge asparagus into ice water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled, set on a clean kitchen towel and pat dry. Set aside.
- Grill the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165º. When chicken is nearly done, toss the bread and the scallions on the grill for a minute or two, just until they get a good char.
- Slice bread into several toast points. Combine everything in a large, shallow bowl or platter. Drizzle with dressing, sprinkle with cornichons and dill. Serve.