I’ve mentioned I love to make a recipe my own by playing with measurements and adding a twist. When going out to eat, one of my favorite meals is a Greek Salad. I have to credit one of my lifelong besties for inspiring my love of Greek Salad. Not only because she is Greek, but also because she is a picky eater and even she loves a good Greek Salad. I knew if it made her list of limited options it had to be fantastic! One of our go to restaurants has a killer version and every time I have ordered it, it has been executed to near perfection. I developed a craving for a Greek Salad a few weeks ago while also realizing we haven’t been there in about that time, coincidence? I started building a version in my head – my take on an old favorite.
Blackened Chicken Greek Salad
Serves: It depends on the purpose. As a side dish, this would serve a party of 25-30. As a main dish I would say 15. In this instance I was feeding a crowd. I’m definitely going to make this again, but will probably cut everything in half for a family dinner.
- 2 1/2 lbs Chicken Breasts
- 4 heads of Romaine Lettuce
- 1 lb. Cherry Tomatoes
- Cucumber (2 large or 3 small)
- 1 Medium Red Onion
- Kalamata Olives – as many as you want! I can’t say enough good things about Kalamata olives, so I’ll leave it at – yum.
- Feta Cheese – same notes as Kalamata olives – as many as you want!
- Roasted Garlic Cloves optional, but delicious
- Marinade – can be anything from Italian dressing, Greek dressing to a balsamic. In this version I used a Cranberry Balsamic and later added a little pure pomegranate juice.
- Greek Dressing
I marinated the chicken breasts overnight in Cranberry Balsamic dressing. I had some leftover from another salad and thought I would give it a try as a marinade. I love the flavor dried cranberries add to almost any salad, so I just viewed a marinade as a natural success.
Get the grill scorching hot – somewhere between 500-550°. Place chicken on the grill, cover & let cook for about 4 minutes. Cooking on high helps seal in the juices and in this case also added a slight canalization to the marinade. Reduce heat to around 450-475°, flip and cook for another 5-6 minutes. I am going to warm these in the oven before serving, so avoid overcooking on the grill. A touch under will be just perfect. Remove from grill and cut into thin strips, place in a pan, add about a cup of pure pomegranate juice and tightly cover with foil. In this instance, I grilled the chicken the night before and refrigerated the chicken in the pomegranate juice. Before serving, place in an oven preheated to 350° and cook for about 20 minutes. If you are making the day of, you can go straight from the grill to the oven.
Now comes the fun part – putting it all together! This salad is HUGE, so you will need a large serving dish. I start with a base layer of lettuce, then top with all of the yummy extras. If you are making for dinner, you could serve with some warm pita bread. I served with some Olive and Feta Greek dressing. Next time I will probably try to make my own. To be honest, with the juice from the chicken and they pomegranate juice, I could have gone with no dressing. Enjoy!
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