Roasted Chicken Breast Salad With Green Grapes

No exaggeration: This roasted chicken breast with green grapes fresh salad is deliciously healthy ingredients with cranberries, walnuts, feta cheese, a shallot onion, fresh baby spinach and a simple but lovely white balsamic vinaigrette.

 

Serve it in a lovely salad bowl and watch everyone dig in.

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The salad starts with a chicken breast that is split; skin left on; breast bone left in; fresh rosemary sprigs tucked under the skin; and then roasted on sheet pan.

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The roasted chicken is nicely cubed and the seedless green grapes are pulled off its stem.

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Even the supporting "actor" ingredients are delicious enough to eat alone!

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The Recipe
Serves 4-6

Ingredients for the Roasted Chicken Salad

  • 1 large raw chicken breast, split with skin left on and breast bone left in

  • 4 whole rosemary sprigs

  • 8 ounces of loose seedless green grapes

  • 3 ounces roughly chopped walnuts (2 Tablespoons set aside for garnish)

  • 4 ounces feta cheese, brick style then cut into small squares (optional substitution: crumbled feta cheese)

  • 3 ounces dried cranberries, preferably sugared

  • 1 shallot onion, peeled and thinly sliced crosswise

  • 6 ounces baby spinach, washed and patted dry

  • Salt to taste

  • Cracked white pepper (or black) to taste

  • 4-6 Tablespoons white balsamic vinaigrette, or to taste (see below for ingredients and preparation)

Preparation for chicken salad
Preheat oven 375 degrees

Wash chicken breast and pat dry.  Place two rosemary sprigs under the skin of each chicken breast.  Season both sides of the breast with salt and pepper.  Place breast with skin side up on a cookie sheet.  Bake for 45 minutes or until chicken meat next to the bone is no longer pink. You can check for doneness by turning the breast with the bone side up and gently slit the meat alongside the bone.

While the chicken breasts are roasting, prepare the remaining ingredients as noted in the ingredients list.  Add all ingredients, except the grapes, to a large bowl.

When the breasts are done, remove them from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes.  Then remove the rosemary, cut away the skin and breast bones.  Cut chicken meat into cubes.  Add chicken breasts and grapes to the salad.  Pour in the white balsamic vinaigrette and gently toss salad.

White Balsamic Vinaigrette

If you're not familiar with white balsamic vinegar here's a few things to note.  It's sweet, has a clean aftertaste and is versatile in application from salads to chicken to cheeses (particularly blue cheese) to even bison.  Price can range from a few dollars to as much as $1000.  Of course price is influenced by its aging process and resulting quality.

True white balsamic vinegar is produced by only two consortium in Italy, Modena and Reggio Emilia.  Cheaper varieties are made in surrounding areas by cannot carry the authentic processing method designation.  White balsamic vinegar is made using a process of reduction (long hours of heating) of pressed Trebbiano grapes and then aged in wooden barrels, similar to the process of making wine.  The aging process occurs from 3 years to as long as 25 years which of course distinguishes the quality and the taste.  To learn more about balsamic vinegar both the red and white, check out What's The Deal With: White Balsamic Vinegar? at The Kitchn.com and Balsamic Vinegar on Wikipedia.

White balsamic vinaigrette

White balsamic vinaigrette

What to look for.  White balsamic vinegar, what is most frequently found in U.S. grocery stores, is blended with white wine vinegar.  

I was able to find a reasonably priced bottle of white balsamic vinegar produced in Modena, Italy for Batistini Farms, carried at Whole Foods Store.  It has 12 grams of natural sugar per tablespoon, naturally occurring sulfites, and 5.4% acidity.  It had zero additives and artificial non-GMO and was gluten free.  

My other choice had less sugar, 4 grams per tablespoon (which I had preferred) but it had added sulfites. So just be sure to read the label to purchase which white balsamic fits your taste and health.

Vinaigrette Ingredients and preparation for this roasted chicken breasts and green grapes.  Yields 1 cup

  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • Dash of salt (preferably sea or Kosher salt)

  • Dash (or more) cracked white pepper corn (can substitute with black pepper corn)

  • Dash of lemon juice (optional)

  • Add a little honey is also optional, particularly if the white balsamic vinegar has a high sugar count per tablespoon.

Preparation

Add all ingredients to a wide-mouth jar and shake until thoroughly mixed.  Immediately pour 4-6 tablespoons onto salad and toss lightly.  Add more vinaigrette if you wish. 

Note:  When making vinaigrette, it's best to make no more than you need or enough that you will use within a week or a few days, especially if you include fresh ingredients such as garlic or shallots or onions, etc.  Store this left-over vinaigrette in the refrigerator.  To reduce the amount of vinaigrette called for in this recipe, whatever measurement you choose use a ratio of 3x oil to 1x white balsamic vinegar.


Enjoy!

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You may be interested more salad recipes:

Roasted Pecorino Romano Cheese Chicken Drumsticks

 If you're like me, one who hates the messiness of frying chicken, you'll find this easy to make.  Just dip the chicken drumsticks in a butter and egg mixture, then dip them in Pecorino Romano grated cheese, place on a greased cookie and pop them in the oven!

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Chunky Chicken Salad Sandwich

This chunky chicken salad is made for a sandwich.  But it doesn't have to stop there, the chicken salad can simply be eaten as just that--a salad on a bed of lettuce.  

Chunky Chicken Salad Sandwich

Chunky Chicken Salad Sandwich


The Recipe
Yields 3 cups

Ingredients for a Chunky Chicken Salad Sandwich:

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  • 2-1/2 to 3 cups of chicken cutlets or breast, roasted cut into 3/4" chunks

  • 1 tablespoon tarragon

  • 1 tablespoon fresh extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon crushed whole black peppers. Salt to taste.

  • 1 fresh celery stalk, diced

  • 1/2 cup whole walnuts, roasted and then broken or roughly chopped (See notes.)

  • 1/3 cu spring onions (about 3), diced or sliced depending upon the size of onions

  • 1/3 cup of dried cranberries (This is optional but HIGHLY recommended.)

  • 2/3 cup of light Miracle Whip (TM made by Kraft). You can of course make your own creamy dressing

  • Romaine lettuce

  • Muenster cheese

  • Fresh Alfalfa sprouts, preferably radish sprouts

  • Pumpernickel bread (other bread options: sour dough and wheat)

Preparation:

Mix raw chicken with olive oil, tarragon and black pepper.  Let sit for about an hour (Or you can even marinade it over night).  If you are using chicken breasts, cut them into strips to ensure all sides are covered with oil and seasonings.  Spread chicken on a baking pan under a broiler, cook for about 4 minutes.  Turn chicken over and cook for 3 minutes.  Allow the chicken to cool, then cut into chunks.  While waiting, roast the walnuts.

Take care not to cook to long or the chicken will be dry.  (Optional:  use a grill pan to cook chicken, cooking in the same length of time.)  You can get even more creative to try a different flavor, such as on-the-grill left over chicken or even whole roasted left over chicken.  Lightly but thoroughly mix all ingredients.  

Serve on pumpernickel, wheat bread or sour dough bread with a layer of dressing on both slices.  Layer sandwich with lettuce, chunky chicken salad, 1-2 slices of Munster cheese and top with alfalfa sprouts.

Notes:

How to roast walnuts.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spread whole walnuts on baking pan.  Place it on the middle rack. Roast 5-8 minutes or until walnuts turn a little darker and are very fragrant.  

Here's how I built this delicious sandwich:


Enjoy!

 

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