Grilled Lemon Thyme Chicken Salad
- Yield: 12 servings
- 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
- 1 1/2pounds dry penne pasta
- 1pound sugar snap peas
- 1pound yellow and orange bell peppers
- 1pound baby spinach
- 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
- 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.
- Prepare grill.
- 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.
- Cook pasta according to package directions in lightly salted water. Drain well. Place in large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Heat a large skillet. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sauté sugar snap peas, in batches, until bright green, about 2 minutes. Add to penne.
- 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.
- Slice chicken breasts into 1/4-inch-thick strips.
- To prepare vinaigrette: Place all ingredients in a blender and mix until emulsified.
- 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.
- Garnish with lemon twists and fresh thyme, if desired.
Recipe courtesy of Nancy Vienneau and Third Thursday Potluck