Perfect for a summer supper, this chilled salad features chicken and rice served over a bed of lettuce mixed with cranberries, red bell pepper and celery. Serve with fresh cantaloupe and a crisp white wine.
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.
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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.