Savory Sundays: Mojito Chicken Salad

The weather down here has been really hot and summery, which has had me thinking about grilling, eating out on the patio table, and drinking yummy mojitos in the warm summer air. And even though it’s still April, and despite the fact that we have are having the sweltering summer days with chilly spring evenings, I know that this salad with it’s mandarin orange pieces, tangy/sweet dressing, and sweet grilled chicken will definitely get you ready for the summer evenings that are sure to come in the next few months.

Happy pseudo-summer everyone :)

<3 and harp strings,
Kate

Mojito Chicken Salad                                                   [click to print]

Serves 4 (recipe from Pampered Chef)

Dressing Ingredients

1 can (15 oz.) mandarin oranges in light syrup, undrained
3 tbsp sugar
2 limes
3 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
3 tbsp olive oil

Chicken and Salad Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4-6 oz each)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

4 cups baby spring mix salad blend

Method

1. Prepare grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat.
2. For dressing, drain syrup from mandarin oranges into a small bowl; stir in sugar (set aside oranges for salad). Microwave on HIGH 10-12 minutes or until syrup is thickened and reduced by half (about 6 tbsp).
3. Zest limes to measure 2 tsp zest; juice limes into the small bowl. Add lime zest, mint, cayenne pepper and oil. Reserve 1/4 cup of the dressing in a prep bowl for brushing over chicken. Refrigerate remaining dressing for salad.
4. For chicken, season  chicken with salt and black pepper. Grill chicken, covered, 5 minutes or until grill marks appear. Turn chicken over; brush with reserved dressing and grill 5-7 minutes or until a thermometer registers 170°F in thickest part of breast and juices run clear. (Discard any remaining dressing used for brushing on chicken.) Transfer chicken from grill to a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes.
5. For salad, toss salad blend with 2 tbsp of the dressing; divide evenly among serving plates.
6. Cut chicken into thin slices; arrange over salad. Top with reserved mandarin oranges. Drizzle with remaining dressing.

Photo Walkthrough:

Everything you’ll need for this recipe (plus a little extra because I was cooking for more than 4 :P)

For dressing, drain syrup from mandarin oranges into a small bowl; stir in sugar (set aside oranges for salad). Microwave on HIGH 10-12 minutes or until syrup is thickened and reduced by half (about 6 tbsp).

Zest limes to measure 2 tsp zest; juice limes into the small bowl. Add lime zest, mint, cayenne pepper and oil. Reserve 1/4 cup of the dressing in a prep bowl for brushing over chicken. Refrigerate remaining dressing for salad.

I unfortunately missed some pictures of the rest of the steps for this, but I’ll re-iterate the steps here so you can at least see them in order :)

For chicken, season  chicken with salt and black pepper. Grill chicken, covered, 5 minutes or until grill marks appear. Turn chicken over; brush with reserved dressing and grill 5-7 minutes or until a thermometer registers 170°F in thickest part of breast and juices run clear. (Discard any remaining dressing used for brushing on chicken.) Transfer chicken from grill to a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes.

For salad, toss salad blend with 2 tbsp of the dressing; divide evenly among serving plates.
Cut chicken into thin slices; arrange over salad. Top with reserved mandarin oranges. Drizzle with remaining dressing.
Enjoy!!

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