Today was like Christmas for me! I opened my patio door and walked out to a temperature that was most definitely perfectly acceptable for grilling. Yes, grilling season has arrived and I couldn’t be more ready for it! I love the flavor of grilled chicken. I love the flavor of basically grilled anything for that matter. Its a flavor that can’t be imitated from baking or pan searing. I did debate with this recipe whether to do a baked crispy panko crusted lemon chicken or a grilled lemon chicken. I’m glad I went with a grilled version. It is perfect with this salad and grilling the chicken is a savory and simple flavor enhancer.
I also decided to toss in one of my latest favorites in cheese, Feta. It pairs amazingly well with the tartness of the blackberries and sweetness of the strawberries, and it enhances the slight tang of the lemon chicken. I also thought a salad this delicious wouldn’t do with a store bought dressing so I created a simple homemade version. It is unbelievably easy and if you want to shave off the step of grating the onion you could simply replace it with a 1/4 – 1/2 tsp of onion powder. Enjoy!
- 1 (11 oz) pkg Spring Mix Salad Blend (I used Dole)
- 1 lb strawberries , sliced
- 11 oz black berries
- 8 oz Feta cheese , crumbled
- 2 oz Parmesan cheese , finely shredded
- 3/4 cup sliced almonds
- finely grated lemon zest , for topping (optional)
- poppy seed dressing , recipe follows
Grilled Lemon Chicken
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic , finely minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
To assemble salads:
Layer salad blend onto serving plates. Divide strawberries, blackberries, almonds, Feta and Parmesan cheese over salad. Top with grilled lemon chicken, sprinkle with lemon zest if desired. Drizzle top with poppy seed dressing. Serve immediately.
For the grilled lemon chicken:
Place chicken in a large resealable bag and pound thicker portions of chicken to an even thickness using the flat side of a meat mallet. In a mixing bowl whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour mixture over chicken in resealable bag, seal bag while pressing out as much excess air as possible. Move chicken around as needed to evenly distribute marinade and allow chicken to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Preheat a grill to moderately high heat. Brush grill grates lightly with oil and transfer chicken to grill (if you notice lemon zest and garlic sticking to one portion of the chicken more than another just brush it along the chicken to evenly distribute). Grill 6 – 8 minutes then rotate chicken to opposite side and grill until internal temperature of chicken registers 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer (total grill time will vary based on thickness of chicken breasts, so just be sure to check the temp for doneness). Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes, then slice into strips about 1/2-inch thick.