Let me just start by saying, I could eat salad for just about every meal. Honestly, there are so many different toppings and ingredients, lettuces, greens, and dressings that I probably wouldn’t feel like I was missing a thing. And I do eat salad pretty often enough already, usually at least one a day… Either at lunch or with dinner. But this salad is definitely one of my favorites, and it’s a meal in itself.
Another great thing about this salad is that’s totally customizable, as with most salads. Add what you want, omit what you don’t like. I can’t think of a single vegetable that wouldn’t taste good in this salad.
I started with the chicken marinade. In a blender I combined 1/2 bunch of parsley, 1/2 bunch of cilantro, 1/2 bunch of basil, and 1/2 bunch of green onions with 2 garlic cloves, the zest and juice of 1 lime, 1 Fresno chili, about 1 tsp each of salt and pepper, and 1/4 cup orange juice, and about 1/2 cup of olive oil. I gave the ingredients a good whir until everything was nice and broken down and starting to become smooth.
Then, I got to work on the chicken. I decided to butterfly or spatchcock this chicken, which basically just means to remove the backbone. It seems difficult but it’s actually extremely easy… All you need is a sharp pair of kitchen shears.
Simply find the backbone of the chicken and run your scissors along each side all the way up. Then flip the chicken over and spread the sides with your hands until it lays flat. See? Simple!
Once my chicken was backbone-less I patted it completely dry with a paper towel and sprinkled the skin with a little extra salt and pepper. Then I coated each side of the chicken with the marinade, and using my hands, I made sure to get it in all the cracks and crevices of the bird. After I was satisfied with the coating, I covered the chicken in plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for about 2 hours. I recommend longer, but I really wouldn’t let it marinate for any less than 1 hour.
Once the chicken was done marinating, I placed it onto a hot grill, skin-side down. (Don’t mind the slight char on the inside, I accidentally placed in the wrong way at first and quickly fixed it when I realized I layed it down wrong! Oops!)
Yumm, crispy and charred chicken skin. Is there anything better?
So after the chicken had cooked for about 25 minutes on one side, I carefully flipped it to continue cooking for another 20-25 minutes on the other side. Chicken should reach a temp of 165 degrees F before you remove it from the grill. Once it’s done cooking, set aside for about 10 minutes before slicing into it, or all the juices will run out onto your cutting board and not stay with the meat!
When you’re ready to prepare the salad, grab a few slices of your favorite bread, baguette, or sourdough. Cut the bread into cubes and toss lightly with about 1 tbsp of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes at 450 degrees F, or until lightly golden and crispy.
To prepare the dressing, in a blender I combined the other half of the parsley, basil, cilantro, and green onion with about 1/4 cup of peeled and grated green apple, 3 tbsps of mayonnaise, the zest and juice of 1 lemon, about 1/4 cup of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
To build the salad, I took about 2 cups of mixed spring greens, about 1/4 cup of sliced grape tomatoes, and about 1/4 cup of thinly sliced purple cabbage. I layered each ingredient on top of the greens and drizzled with the homemade salad dressing.
This is only of my all time favorite salads, and I hope you enjoy it too!
Prep time: 2 hrs. Cook time: 45 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
1 2lb whole chicken, backbone removed
1 bunch parsley, divided
1 bunch cilantro, divided
1 bunch basil, divided
1 bunch green onion, divided
2 garlic cloves
1 Fresno chili or red jalapeño
1 green apple, peeled and finely grated
1 cup olive oil
3 tbsps. mayonnaise
4-6 cups spring mix greens
1 pint grape tomatoes
2 cups croutons
1/2 cup finely sliced purple cabbage
Salt and pepper to taste
(This recipe makes enough salad for 4 people)
Begin by making the marinade for the chicken. Combine 1/2 bunch of parsley, 1/2 bunch of cilantro, 1/2 bunch of basil, 1/2 bunch of green onions, 2 garlic cloves, the zest and juice of 1 lime, salt and pepper, orange juice, and olive oil into a blender and pulse.
Next, remove the backbone of the chicken and pat the skin completely dry. To remove the backbone, take a sharp pair of kitchen shears and simply cut on either side of the bone, following it all the way up.
Lightly salt and pepper the skin of the chicken, then add the marinade. Use your hands to spread the marinade onto the chicken, making sure to coat it completely. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour .
When the chicken is ready to cook, place it on a hot grill, skin side down and cook for about 25 minutes with the lid closed before flipping and cooking for another 20 minutes , lid closed. Temperature should be 165 degrees. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes after cooking before slicing.
To make the salad dressing, in a blender or food processor combine the other half of the bunch of parsley, basil, cilantro, and green onion. Add 2-3 tbsps of mayonnaise, the zest and juice of 1 lemon, 1/4 cup of peeled and grated green apple, about 1/4 cup of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
To build the salad, in a bowl layer the bottom with the spring mix greens, add the sliced the grape tomatoes and the thinly sliced red cabbage. Top with sliced chicken and fresh croutons and drizzle with salad dressing.