Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Cracked Pepper & Four Fruits Vinaigrette Spinach Salad with Citrus & Cracked Pepper Grilled Chicken

There are two sources of inspiration for today’s post: the first is the event I’m hosting on Foodies Plus this month (link here), a barbecue & grill event that I’d like to encourage more people to jump into. So, perfectly tender, immensely flavorful grilled chicken. The second source of inspiration was the strong jammy perfume my quinoa imparted as a dry ingredient; the smell only got stronger as it cooked and it put me in the mood to play around with the idea of a jammy vinaigrette. Well, I had more of that delightful four fruits preserve and a hankering for black pepper, and this sweet, bitter, zesty and bold salad all came together in the end. It is as flavorful as it is healthy. Filled with fiber, protein, vitamins and iron. But most of all deliciousness. Yes. Filled with deliciousness. Try it out for your next bbq or grill night. I promise it is easier than its list of ingredients might suggest.

Citrus & Cracked Pepper Grilled Chicken

Two chicken breasts, butterflied & tenderized
Zest & juice of 1/2 lemon
Zest & juice of 1/2 orange
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 Tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon sriracha
Salt, to taste

Grind the peppercorns in a spice grinder or mortar and combine with all of the above ingredients, except the chicken to make the marinade.
Mix thoroughly.
Lay chicken in a shallow dish and pour marinade over the chicken. Cover pan and marinate for 30 minutes.
Over medium to medium high heat of charcoals, grill chicken. Cook it for about 3 -4 minutes per side, or until internal temp at the thickest part reads 165.
Set aside to cool, then chop into bite sized pieces to be tossed with salad.

Cracked Pepper & Four Fruits Vinaigrette Spinach Salad

For the vinaigrette:
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1/2 orange
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 Tablespoons Four Fruits Preserve
1/2 Tablespoon whole black peppercorns
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dijon or stone ground mustard
Salt, to taste

For the salad:
1 cup cooked white quinoa
3 ounces baby spinach, cleaned
4 leaves radicchio, chopped into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup almonds

Combine all vinaigrette ingredients in the blender. Pulse until thoroughly combined.
Roughly chop almonds in the food processor
combine spinach, radicchio, quinoa, chicken and almonds. Top with vinaigrette and toss to combine.
Enjoy for lunch or as a dinner entree.

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