Some days are just a freakin’ struggle. Take today. I had big, big plans. I was gonna get so much stuff done. Blog cooking days are looonnnggg days, but I was ready. Up early, in the kitchen prepping, all organized, ingredients out, ready for Sarah to arrive. I was actually ahead of the game. Wow…we might be done by noon, I thought naively. (Insert big, big laugh right here.) That was really funny.
Enter our first recipe of the day. That’s this Lemon Chicken Spring Salad. Looks good, right? It IS really good, actually. But it didn’t start out as a salad. It started as a lemon chicken orzo pasta bowl with snap peas and asparagus. Does that tell you how this day was going? This salad looks NOTHING like a lemon chicken orzo pasta bowl. Nope.
That bowl was doomed for failure. We prodded, poked, fussed, played around, teased, added, took away and started over, but the bowl just wasn’t meant to be. Maybe some day we will revisit, but not today. What started as a no-brainer, ten-minute, whip-out-an-easy-recipe chicken dish turned out to be a three-hour slug fest. We were beaten by peas and a chicken. Almost.
And then the sun came out. Literally. The sun came out, the kitchen brightened, and we spied the beautiful head of leafy greens just sitting there on the counter. It almost sparkled in the sunlight. Oh happy day! A little of this and a little of that and behold! A spring salad was born. The day was salvaged. The chicken was saved.
Annnnd now I stand at the window, trowel in hand, ready to work in the yard. Plant all the flowers I bought this weekend. It’s raining now. Hard. Yep, some days are just a freakin’ struggle.
Reruns of The Office? With a big bowl of Lemon Chicken Spring Salad? You bet! We’ll start again tomorrow. I’m sure it’ll be a better day.
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken tenders
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 8-10 cloves garlic
- Zest and juice of two lemons
- 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper
- 1 head green leafy lettuce
- Grilled Lemon Chicken
- 6-8 asparagus spears
- 3-4 radishes
- 1 avocado
- 1 cup roasted red peppers
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- Favorite micro greens to garnish (optional)
- Balsamic glaze
- Basil olive oil (Or your favorite balsamic dressing)
- Place chicken in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil.
- Mince garlic and add to the bowl.
- Add zest and juice of lemons, chopped parsley and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Cover and marinate 30-60 minutes in the fridge. *We don't recommend marinating longer than this, or the meat will begin to break down from the citrus.
- After it has marinated, lift chicken pieces from marinade and grill over medium heat until chicken is cooked through, about 5-7 minutes each side (until reaches internal temp of 165ºF.) Discard remaining marinade.
- Wash lettuce and place in large bowl.
- Add grilled chicken pieces.
- Steam asparagus 5-10 minutes until fork tender. Cut into 1" pieces and add to salad.
- Slice radishes and avocado. Add to salad, along with peppers and slices of goat cheese.
- Garnish with micro greens, if desired.
- Drizzle with glaze and oil (or your favorite dressing.)
*Much of the stated prep time is for marinating the chicken. You can do this and grill the chicken the day before serving, if desired.
*This basic chicken recipe is fabulous on its own or with any of your favorite salad ingredients.