Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Recipe: Grilled chicken and strawberry salad with BBQ baked potato

Temperatures are topping the 100 degree mark here this week so all of our dinner making moves outdoors.  One small thing is made indoors and can be done early in the day before it gets too hot to use the stove.  Or, you can just buy that one thing pre-made and keep your indoor kitchen cool.  The preparation may seem long, but it's really not... I just wrote every step out so you can see how everything is ready-to-go at the same time.

Grilled Chicken and Strawberry Salad with BBQ Baked Potato
(serves 2 adults and 2 children)

For the grilled chicken

  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tsp. coarse sea salt or other coarse salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp. granulated onion
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
For the BBQ Baked Potatoes
  • 3-4 8 ounce Idaho baking potatoes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1-2 Tbsp. coarse sea salt or other coarse salt
  • Unsalted butter, sour cream or toppings of your choice
For the Strawberry Salad
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce
  • 1 pound ripe strawberries
  • 1/2 cup candied walnuts (pre-made or make ahead)
    • If making, need 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, 1 Tbsp. brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Balsamic vinaigrette 
Directions:  The first two steps can be done earlier in the day if you have time.
Make the candied walnuts.  Toast walnuts on stove top on low flame for three minutes, stirring constantly.  Add butter, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon and stir for 2-3 more minutes.  Lay on napkin or paper towel to cool.  Set aside.

Shred cheddar, chop lettuce and slice strawberries.  Set aside separately in the fridge to keep cool.

About 1 hour before dinner, make BBQ Baked Potatoes.  I wrote about these two summers ago and they have become a staple for us.  When you turn the potatoes at the halfway mark (about 25 minutes), you can start on the chicken.

Making the grilled chicken.  Combine olive oil and lemon in a small bowl.  Combine salt, pepper, garlic, onion, sugar and paprika in another small bowl.  Wash chicken and pat dry.  Take everything out to the BBQ.

Brush oil/lemon on top of chicken breasts.  Sprinkle seasonings on top and place, face-down on BBQ.  Repeat for the other side of chicken quickly without burning yourself.  Close lid and let cook for 8-9 minutes depending on size of chicken breasts.  Turn and let cook until done and then bring in the house to cool. The potatoes are almost ready, so you can turn your BBQ off and leave them there for a few minutes.
  • On dinner plates, place chopped romaine, candied walnuts, and sliced strawberries
  • Bring potatoes in from BBQ, slice open and place on the side of plate (see photo up top).  Add toppings as you prefer but honestly, these only need a pat of butter.  The salt from the outside is deliciously crunchy and will find its' way in to the potato adding a smoky salt punch.
  • Slice cooled chicken and put on top of salad.  Sprinkle white cheddar over chicken and salad.
  • Lightly dress with balsamic vinaigrette and serve.
We had additional strawberries on the side, but honestly, the meal was the perfect size for each of us.
I hope you love this meal as much as we do.
Happy Grilling!