I feel I need to apologize right off the bat to all other salads that ever existed. Soon, everyone will realize how boring you are and might never eat you again, for which I am mildly sorry. What remains in the salad world is this flavorful and filling concoction.
One of my favorite indulgences is chicken piccata. I call it an indulgence because its kind of a pain in the neck to make and its loaded up with butter. Still, it is delicious and totally worth it every now and then. I got to thinking about how I could make the flavors a little more accessible and improve the healthiness of the meal. I landed on a salad that would incorporate simply cooked chicken breasts and many of the other flavors found in a usual chicken piccata.
Let’s talk details. You can, of course, use any leftover, cooked chicken in this salad. I like the tenders because they cook quickly on my indoor grill. If you are as straight up, screaming, obsessed with capers as I am you could double the caper/shallot mixture. I also like the healthiness of the whole wheat bread crumbs but if white is all you can find then, certainly, go for it. The bread crumbs are meant to simulate the breading that you would ordinarily find on chicken piccata and replace croutons in one fell swoop. If you can’t find Panko (extra crispy Japanese bread crumbs; look in the ethnic foods aisle) then I would either substitute ordinary croutons or small chunks of toasty bread, not the fine breadcrumbs you can buy in a can. That would just make your salad taste sandy.
However you do it, you’re getting a megapile of leafy green goodness along with protein, grain, and the necessary amount of fat for your body to absorb the nutrients. It tastes fancy and indulgent while giving you a break in the kitchen and helping you digest that pile of dutch syrup waffles you ate earlier.
You may never eat another salad again.
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast tenders, cooked
1 1/2 cups whole wheat Panko bread crumbs
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons capers, drained
8 cups mixed baby greens
Juice of 1 lemon
Parmesan cheese, shaved
In a large skillet combine 2 tablespoons olive oil and bread crumbs. Stir over medium heat until brown and toasted, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer bread crumbs to a bowl.
In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and stir until softened, 2-3 minutes. Add the capers, stir for 30 seconds and remove from the heat.
In a large serving bowl, place baby greens, bread crumbs, shallot mixture, and lemon juice. Toss to combine. Divide amongst four individual serving bowls and top with strips of chicken and Parmesan cheese.