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There's nothing like grilled chicken to add flavor to a salad. If you don't have an outdoor grill, you can use a grill.
The marinade for the chicken and the vinaigrette for the salad are one in the same. I love time savers like this.
It's light, spicy but sweet from apple cider vinegar, honey and Dijon mustard give it a little bite.
The best part is that it is only shaken in a jar and any extra will keep for a week in the refrigerator.
There are so many wonderful textures and flavors in every bite of this loaded salad. It is hearty, satisfying, and healthy. My family was excited about that.
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It's a spin-off of this apple, white cheddar, and spinach salad with honey-apple cider vinaigrette, which is a reader's favorite and the addition of chicken is a great new twist.
I used romaine lettuce and kale, but you can use spinach or your favorite vegetables.
There's juicy apples, salty white cheddar cheese, chewy dried cranberries flavored with orange and almonds for an extra crunch.
Grilled Chicken, White Cheddar Cheese and Apple Salad
There's nothing like grilled chicken to add flavor to a salad. The marinade for the chicken and the vinaigrette for the salad are one in the same, a great time saver. It is light, spicy but sweet from apple cider vinegar, honey and mustard. Just shake it in a jar and any extra will keep for a week in the fridge. There are so many wonderful textures and flavors in every bite of this loaded salad. It is hearty, satisfying, and healthy. I used romaine lettuce and kale, but you can use spinach or your favorite vegetables. There's juicy apples, salty cheese, chewy dried cranberries flavored with orange and almonds for an added crunch.
Apple cider and vinaigrette marinade
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1/2 cup of honey
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup mustard (I like dijon or honey mustard)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt, or to taste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
Chicken and salad
- approximately 1.25 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I use thinly sliced breasts)
- about 6 cups lettuce (I used romaine and kale; you can substitute fresh spinach or your favorite vegetables)
- 1 large apple, cored and very thinly sliced (try Envy, Gala, Fuji or similar)
- 1 cup aged, crumbled, or grated white cheddar cheese (I used Trader Joe's Unexpected Cheddar Cheese)
- 1/2 cup dried orange flavored cranberries (use Trader Joe’s; dried cranberries can be substituted)
- 1/2 cup walnuts (sliced almonds, candied walnuts, spiced walnuts, cashews, etc.)
Adapted from apple salad, white cheddar cheese and spinach with apple and honey cider vinaigrette
- Apple cider and vinaigrette marinade – In a medium glass jar or container with a lid, add all the ingredients, put the lid on and shake vigorously until combined; test and adjust as needed to taste. Set half aside for later use as a vinaigrette on salad.
- Chicken and salad – Add the chicken to a large zip-lock plastic bag, add the remaining half of the marinade, seal the bag and stir to coat the chicken evenly; reserve to marinate for at least 20 minutes; I marinated all night and I recommend it if you have time because the chicken is very tender and juicy. If it is marinated for more than 2 to 30 minutes, put the bag in the fridge.
- Preheat grill over high heat (or if using a skillet, heat over high heat on the stove). Add the chicken to the grill, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes per side, or as needed until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F. All grills, pans, and chicken thickness vary, so cook time will vary. Let the chicken rest from the heat on a platter as you prepare the salad.
- In a large bowl or platter or in individual bowls, add lettuce, apple, cheddar cheese, blueberries, and almonds; set aside.
- Cut the chicken into slices, add it to the salad, drizzle the reserved vinaigrette over the salad as desired, stir to combine, and serve immediately. If you don't use all of the vinaigrette, an additional amount will stay in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
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