Baked Asian Chicken Salad w/ Heart of Palm

I used to hate cooking chicken. I mean, I think we can all agree that a piece of uncooked chicken is not that attractive, or any raw meat or fish, for that matter. But, alas, we need our protein, and if cook and eat animal protein, we should get accustomed to handling the meat, right? Well, maybe just slightly shut your eyes or have your significant other do it. ;-)

After all that, I have to admit that the main event of this salad is really not the chicken. It’s the heart of palm! So nutty, yet sweet, and oh so delish! I could eat an entire can, but I somehow managed to make this last through four salads. :) Also, I love mache. If you haven’t tried this lovely baby lettuce, you are in for a treat! This salad is simple, but elegant (mache is mainly produced in France) and would also bode well as a starter salad by eliminating the chicken.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes
Cooking Temperature: 350 degrees
Serves: 1 (there will be enough chicken for 2, so just double the other  ingredients below)

Chicken Ingredients:
4 chicken breasts that weigh about 4-8 ounces (I use the extra pieces of chicken for lunch or dinner the next day with a side of veggies)
1 T olive oil
1/2 T sesame oil
1/2 T tamari (gluten free) or soy sauce
1 T gomasio seasoning (get this at your health food store, Whole Foods; or just use  a mix of sea salt, sesame seeds, and garlic powder)
1/2 T pepper

Salad Ingredients:
1 T olive oil
1/3 box of mache lettuce
2 stalks of heart of palm
1 T olive oil
Fresh squeezed lemon, to taste
Himalayan sea salt and pepper to taste
2 T finely diced scallions or red onions
1 T balsamic vinegar

Prepping & Cooking:
Clean and cut off extra fat from chicken (those weird white parts) and place into a shallow dish or bowl. In a bowl, place olive oil, sesame oil, tamari or soy sauce, Gomasio, and black pepper. Give it a stir and pour over chicken. Flip the chicken a few times to make sure all sides are coated with the marinade and set a timer for 15 minutes.

When there’s about 5 minutes left on the timer, pre-heat oven to 350. Place tin foil on baking sheet and when chicken is finished marinating, evenly place on the foil so the pieces aren’t touching. When oven is ready, put the chicken in and set the timer for 30 minutes. I usually check it around 20 minutes and cut the thicker pieces to see if they are still pink. Cook the chicken until you see no pink (depending on the thickness of the breasts, it could take 25-30 minutes).

While the chicken is cooking, place the mache on a plate and top with fresh squeezed lemon, sea salt and pepper. Cut the heart of palm into small pieces in any shape you like and put on the lettuce. Once the chicken is ready, cut into bite-sized pieces and place on the salad. Sprinkle the scallions on top and drizzle with the balsamic dressing. Enjoy!

 

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