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Friday, April 27, 2012

Grilled Chicken Salad from Martha Stewart

Oh my oh my. Martha Stewart. Just when I was ready and set to give up on you. Just when I felt like every recipe in your magazine required the purchase of either (a.) a new specialized baking dish or kitchen utensil or (b.) a farm in New Hampshire, you came through for me.

In the May issue of the magazine is the feature "Lunch in the Garden," in which Dana Gallagher rewarded several of her friends for helping rescue her weedy garden by serving them a delicious lunch that she made largely with the fruits of their own labor.

It was another one of those serendipitous moments for me. I was leisurely leafing through the magazine, just about to quit my Martha habit cold turkey, when I spied the recipe for the Grilled Chicken Salad. It listed several ingredients that happened to come in my box again this week (thanks be to seasonal cooking once again! Dana Gallagher's garden and the Abundant Harvest Farms both seem to have produce that understands it should be ripening right now. Those smart little veggies.).

Lettuce, peas, mint, lemon? I've got that!

This recipe is really easy to put together, especially considering lots of it can be done ahead of time. If you've been around here for very long at all, you know I love something that can be done ahead. There just isn't time between school and karate class and baseball practice and piano lessons and scout meetings to really dedicate any length of afternoon/evening to the kitchen. This salad let me marinate the chicken in the morning, grill it while I cleaned the veggies and whisked up the dressing at lunch time, and throw the salad together just in time to intercept the starving family as they zipped though my dining room. The chicken can actually be cooked at any time during the day and kept refrigerated until showtime.

I sat at dinner and ate and ate and ate until I was uncomfortable (which has been pointed out to me, isn't easy to do with a salad). It was just so delicious that I couldn't stop! I didn't know how I was going to feel about mint in my salad, but it was amazing! I am hoping to get more peas right quick so I can make this one again!

Here is the recipe just how Martha presents it. The only substitution I made was to use Romaine instead of butter lettuce. I think the butter lettuce would have been even better, but Romaine was what I got this week, and so Romaine is what I ate. I also cooked a little less chicken (feeding only five, rather than the 20 or so that seemed to be at the featured garden party). I loved that it called for both legs and breasts. The kids love eating chicken drumsticks!

Grilled Chicken Salad
from Martha Stewart Living May 2012

  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from 3 or 4 lemons), divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced garlic (4 cloves), divided
  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken-breast halves (10 to 11 ounces each)
  • 12 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 cups shelled fresh peas (from 2 pounds in pods)
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves, plus 1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves (from 2 bunches)
  • 1 to 2 heads butterhead lettuce such as Bibb or Boston, trimmed and separated into leaves


  1. Whisk together 1/4 cup oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon garlic. Pour over chicken, and refrigerate 2 hours.
  2. Cook peas in a large pot of boiling water until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain, and submerge in ice water to stop the cooking and retain color.
  3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat or set up grill for indirect heat. Remove chicken from marinade, and grill chicken, turning often, until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, 15 to 20 minutes for drumsticks and 20 to 25 minutes for breasts. Let cool, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, cut chicken breasts into thick slices.
  4. Whisk together remaining 1/2 cup oil, 1/3 cup lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon garlic, the shallot, mustard, salt, and chopped mint in a medium bowl. Arrange lettuce, whole mint leaves, and peas on a large serving platter. Toss chicken in dressing, and arrange on salad. Pour remaining dressing over salad.