4 servings (serving size: about 2 cups salad, 1 tablespoon green onion tops, and 1 lemon wedge)
Photo: John Autry; Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine
2 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
3/4 cup uncooked long-grain rice
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped pimiento-stuffed olives
12 green leaf lettuce leaves, torn
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion tops
4 lemon wedges
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°.
Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat a medium ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes. Turn chicken over. Place pan in oven; bake at 400° for 8 minutes or until done. Remove chicken from pan, and let stand for 5 minutes. Shred chicken, and chill for 30 minutes.
Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Coat a jelly-roll pan with cooking spray. Spread rice in an even layer in pan; chill for 30 minutes.
Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, juice, and oil in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add chicken, rice, cranberries, and next 5 ingredients (through lettuce) to juice mixture in bowl, and toss gently. Divide the rice mixture evenly among 4 plates, and sprinkle with green onion tops. Serve with lemon wedges.
This salad is really pretty on the plate. It's also simple and delcious. It paired well with the suggested cantaloupe and white wine. I'm not a huge fan of olives, so I might cut them in half the next time I make the recipe.
Anything that combines pimento-stuffed olives with dried cranberries is going to be either awful or wonderful, and I'm happy to say this is wonderful. I almost chickened-out and omitted the olives but am so glad I didn't! I made 1/2 the recipe for self and husband and with corn on the cob and a slice of french bread, it was really satisfying. I had some leftover cracked wheat (bulgar wheat) and used it for 1/3 total grain, and I think it added a nice nutty flavor. Since I had a bag of dried mixed berries, I used them rather than 100% cranberries and would do so again. Also put mixture on top of lettuce instead of mixing lettuce in. This made a great summer dinner and one I'd be happy to serve to guests or put out at a buffet table.