Grilled Lemon Chicken Salad
We are blessed with an extremely productive Meyer Lemon Tree in our back yard. This creates a need to identify ways to use wonderful sweet lemons. I love this salad at lunch – and as you will see, the marinated lemon chicken does double time and works beautifully served as an appetizer with satay sauce. (Recipe to follow next week)
The mix of fresh vegetables can be easily altered to suit the season or content of your refrigerator. This week I used both blanched green beans, sugar snap peas and bell peppers. In the spring, one could easily substitute thin blanched asparagus for the sugar snap peas and beans. If you love lemon – and lemon-y flavor –this is your dish. The longer you marinate the chicken, the better.
For Grilled Lemon Chicken:
- ¾ C freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
- ¾ C good olive oil
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tb minced fresh thyme leaves (½ tsp dried)
- 2 lbs. boneless chicken breasts, halved and skin removed
For remainder in Salad:
- ¼ C freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 large lemon)
- ¼ C good extra virgin olive oil
- 1 C sugar snap peas, stems and strings removed, quickly blanched
- ½ C blanched green beans
- ½ red bell pepper, julienned
- ½ yellow bell pepper, julienned
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
For grilled lemon chicken: Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and thyme. Pour over chicken breasts in a nonreactive pan or in plastic resealable bag. Add chicken and marinate in the refrigerator at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. Heat the grill and cook the chicken breasts for 8-10 minutes on each side, until just cooked through.
To make the salad: Allow chicken to sit at room temperature for 20+ minutes to cool before chilling in refrigerator. Slice the breasts diagonally into ½ “ or less thick slices. Toss them in a bowl with their juices plus the additional lemon juice, olive oil, sugar snap peas, green beans, red and yellow bell peppers, lemon slices, salt and pepper.
Seasoning to taste and serve cold or at room temperature. It is a perfect picnic entrée! Alternatively, and what I often do, is marinate and grill additional chicken to slice and use as an appetizer served with satay – see recipe next week for details!