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Grilled Lemon Thyme Chicken Salad

Grilled Lemon Thyme Chicken Salad
Teresa Blackburn
http://pgoarelish2.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/dsc_0747.jpg?w=150
  • Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

Marinade and chicken:
3/4cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4cup extra-virgin olive oil
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
2tablespoons (heaping) fresh thyme leaves
1teaspoon salt
3 1/2pounds boneless chicken breasts
Salad:
1 1/2pounds dry penne pasta
1pound sugar snap peas
1pound yellow and orange bell peppers
1pound baby spinach
Vinaigrette:
1/3cup fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove
1tablespoon fresh thyme
1teaspoon dry mustard
1teaspoon salt
1/2teaspoon black bepper
1/2cup extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Place marinade ingredients into a bowl and whisk well. Place chicken breasts into a 1 gallon zip-top bag. Pour in marinade, swishing it around to coat all of the pieces. Seal and refrigerate  1 hour. Don’t marinate more than 1 hour—the acid in the lemon will “cook” the meat.
  2.  Prepare grill.
  3. Remove chicken from the  bag; discard marinade. When coals are ashen, place  chicken on grill rack . Cook about 7 minutes per side, or until done.
  4.  Cook  pasta according to package directions in lightly salted water. Drain well. Place in large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  5.  Heat a large skillet. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sauté sugar snap peas, in batches, until bright green, about 2 minutes. Add to penne.
  6.  Sauté  bell pepper  until caramelized. (If using baby sweet bells, place them in the skillet whole and let them char on all sides. Remove and cut into julienned strips when cool.) Add  to penne.
  7. Slice chicken breasts into 1/4-inch-thick strips.
  8. To prepare vinaigrette: Place all ingredients in a blender and mix until emulsified.
  9. To assemble salad:  Place spinach leaves in a large mixing bowl. Add penne, vegetables and chicken. Pour lemon-thyme vinaigrette over top and toss well  until everything is lightly coated with dressing.
  10.  Garnish with lemon twists and fresh thyme, if desired.

Recipe courtesy of Nancy Vienneau and  Third Thursday Potluck

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