A Squared: What's For Dinner Wednesday: Greek Grilled Chicken Salad

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Greek Grilled Chicken Salad

With Memorial Day behind us, I think it's about time to break out some warm weather-worthy recipes. A grilled protein and salad is one of my dinner go to's in warm weather months, but keeping those meals tasty and interesting can be a challenge.

I love this Greek grilled chicken salad recipe because it's healthy and full of the traditional flavors you expect from a Greek salad. And the addition of the marinated and grilled chicken turns it into a complete meal-- plus the grilled chicken adds that great summer charred flavor to the mix. This chicken marinade has such great flavor that I like to double or triple the recipe and grill some extra chicken to have on hand for salads and sandwiches throughout the week too.

The salad and dressing here is inspired by this little Greek American pizza place in my mom's Michigan hometown. Every time we visited our family there, there was inevitably one meal during the trip where we grabbed takeout pizza, breadsticks, and a ton of Greek salad from Gus's. It was tradition and the salad was so simple, but so flavorful and delicious. A few ingredients from the original that I omitted here: pickled beets (because Alex hates them) and green peppers (because I do). The rest of the ingredients here work really well together though: Salty olives and feta, sweet tomatoes and onions, tangy peppers, and that fresh and herbaceous dressing. It's a winning combination!

I toasted up a few multigrain pita points to serve on the side and make this a complete meal. But, if you know how to make Gus's breadsticks at home let me know!

For the chicken marinade--
  • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice 
  • 1/2 Tbs. fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped  
  • 2 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

For the dressing--
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbs. fresh oregano, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the salad--
  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup kalamata olives, rough chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta
  • 6-8 pepperoncini, for garnish

 In a small bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, parsley, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pour over the chicken breasts in a shallow glass dish or a zip locking plastic bag. Cover the glass dish with plastic wrap or seal the bag, pushing out excess air. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

When ready to grill, preheat the grill to medium-high heat and grill the chicken 5-6 minutes on each side or until cooked through and the juices run clear. Remove from grill and allow to sit for 5 minutes before cutting into 1-inch slices.

For the dressing, whisk together olive oil and remaining ingredients through salt and pepper until fully combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Divide the romaine evenly on two dinner plates. Top with cucumber, tomatoes, olives, onions, and the sliced chicken. Pour on desired amount of dressing, sprinkle with feta, and garnish with pepperoncini.

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