Sunday, October 2, 2011

Chicken, Roasted Broccoli, and Bacon Salad

Since we're due for a bit of summer-like weather this week, I thought I'd sneak in another salad recipe, though this one is decidedly hearty and a bit too heavy for the hottest days of summer. Carnivores will appreciate the moist grilled chicken and crispy, smoky bacon, while vegetable enthusiasts will delight in the fresh greens and the sumptuous caramelized broccoli.This salad has the flavors of a decadent baked potato without turning into a complete gut bomb, filling you up without requiring an immediate post-meal nap. This meal toes the line between healthy and indulgent, sneaking in some healthy ingredients for those who would otherwise turn their nose up at salad and allowing salad enthusiasts to spoil themselves a bit. For those of you in households with both the meat and potatoes and vegetable-lover camps, try out this delicious middle ground recipe and make everyone happy.

Chicken, Roasted Broccoli, and Bacon Salad
serves 2

8 ounces broccoli florets
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
4 slices bacon
1/2 small red onion, sliced
8 ounces mixed salad greens
2 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salad dressing, for serving (I suggest ranch or honey mustard dressing)

1. Preheat an oven to 450 degrees. Toss broccoli florets with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet. Cook until broccoli is caramelized and tender, tossing occasionally, for about 20 minutes (depending on the size of the florets).

2. Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Cook chicken breast until internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F, remove from heat, and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Shred or slice into small pieces.

3. While the chicken is cooking, preheat a pan over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook, flipping regularly, until bacon is crisp. Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels. Once cool, break bacon into small pieces.

4. Meanwhile, wash and dry greens and chop, if necessary. Distribute greens evenly between two large plates, topping each with half of the onion, broccoli, bacon and cheese. Add the sliced chicken to the top, drizzle with dressing, and enjoy!

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