Italian chicken chopped salad
If you have been following Something New For Dinner, you know I am a big fan of salad-for-dinner. What I mean by this is a salad with enough heft to fill you up, as well as provide good nutrition. My salad-for-dinner recipes include a wide variety of lettuce, fruits, vegetables, nuts and sometimes protein. These recipes are often good ways of using leftovers.
Last week I published my friend Art's recipe for Spiedies. These are delicious but simple kabobs that can be made from chicken, pork, lamb or venison. Leftover Spiedies are wonderful in this salad. If you don't have leftover Spiedies you can make this salad with any leftover chicken or store-bought roast chicken.
Lots of variations
You can vary this recipe to suit your taste and what's in your fridge and your pantry. Consider the following options:
- Canned or frozen artichoke hearts
- Mini mozzarella balls (bocconcini or ciliegine) instead of feta
- Kalamata olives
- Finely chopped red onion
- Finely sliced fennel
- Chopped green beans
Optional treatment for garbanzo beans
If you have the time and inclination you can take an extra step to add flavor and texture to the garbanzo beans. I toss the garbanzos in a little olive oil and season them with za'atar. Then I fry them in a pan for 3 - 4 minutes. The za'atar adds lemony flavor to the garbanzos and crisps them up a bit. If you don't have the time just rinse, drain and pat the garbanzos dry.
How to stretch this dinner into tomorrow's lunch
To stretch this meal further, make a little extra of all the ingredients. Put the extra ingredients in separate containers and put in the fridge. Or use my daughter Margo's trick and layer the ingredients in a single-serving sized jar or tupperware container so your heavier and wetter ingredients are on the bottom and your lighter dry ingredients are on the top. Keep the dressing in a separate container and your lunch is now made.
More salad-for-dinner recipes
- Chicken, berry, date and candied walnut salad
- Avocado-massaged kale with oranges and toasted pumpkin seeds
- Chicken frisee salad with roasted peppers, manchego and Spanish paprika
- Roasted turkey cobb salad
- 2 T lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1½ T red wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed and finely chopped
- 1 t sugar or honey
- ½ t dried oregano
- 5 T olive oil
- 1 head romaine lettuce or 2-3 heads hearts of romaine
- 3 Persian cucumbers, sliced lengthwise and chopped into quarter round pieces
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 3 ounces salami, cut into ¼" x 1½ " strips
- 2 cups chopped leftover spiedes, or cooked chicken
- 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced into ½" pieces
- 4 - 5 pepperoncini, chopped
- 3 ounces feta, crumbled
- 2 T capers
- Whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, honey and oregano. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Slice the romaine in thin slices, about ⅓" ribbons. Arrange the lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, salami, chicken, garbanzo beans, red bell pepper, pepperoncini, feta and capers in a wide serving platter or shallow bowl.
- You can toss all the ingredients together with the dressing, or allow guests to serve themselves so they can pick and choose the ingredients they prefer.