See, I told you I was on a salad kick right now! 🙂
I was looking for a salad that was different. A salad that would provide an awesome flavour punch and would satisfy us as a meal, not just a side dish.
I went to my cookbooks for inspiration. I pulled down a few but nothing seemed to jump off the pages at me. I then thought that maybe my collection of magazines might give me an idea. There is just something about looking at pictures of food on glossy magazine pages that makes food seem a bit more appealing.
You will not be surprised when I immediately took an assortment of America’s Test Kitchen magazines to the table for me to browse through. I have said it before, they never let me down.
I tackled the stack of magazines with a pad of sticky notes so I could mark the pages of recipes that I want to try. I don’t know, is fifty too many? 🙂
I found a salad recipe that I wanted to try. Fennel, Apple and Chicken Chopped Salad. That would definitely be a meal and a salad, exactly what I was looking for. You remember my incident with fennel? Well, I thought this salad would be my redemption! I would use fennel as it was intended, and not mistake it for star anise (I know, I am still baffled by this!).
Apple, fennel, chicken. Yep, this was going to be good. I followed the directions, pretty much to the letter (I didn’t seed or salt the cucumber) but when I made the dressing they recommended, I didn’t like the smell of it. It just seemed to be very strong and over-powering. I am sure it would have been a delicious compliment to the salad (and if you want to try it out, the link to the recipe has the original dressing) but I was afraid that I would pour the dressing on the salad, and not enjoy it. 😦
So, to save my salad experience, I went to a tried and true poppy seed dressing instead. It was great with this combination of flavours. In fact, when we make this salad again, I will just stick with the poppy seed dressing.
This was a great dinner salad. All the flavours complimented each other, and I love the surprise hint of liquorice that is in every bite. I guess I will have to find a way to incorporate fennel into more dishes that I cook.
Because we added the dressing to the salad, this isn’t the type of salad that can sit around for a day in your fridge, it has to be eaten up in one sitting, but we really didn’t have a problem with that. 😉
America’s Test Kitchen – Fennel, Apple and Chicken Chopped Salad
- 1 tsp canola oil
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 cup chopped cucumber
- 1 apple, cored, and chopped
- 1/2 fennel bulb, stalks discarded, cored and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 5 cups baby spinach
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- dash paprika
- dash Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- Heat 1 tsp canola oil over medium-high heat in skillet. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Brown chicken well on the first side (6-8 minutes). Flip chicken over, add 1/2 cup water and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and continue to cook till chicken is cooked through, 6-8 minutes.
- Transfer cooked chicken to cutting board to rest for 5 minutes, then cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
- Mix all dressing ingredients in small bowl and whisk together.
- Combine chicken, vegetables and dressing together.
- Serve on bed of baby spinach.