About Me

I love to keep things fresh. Boredom makes me cringe. I believe in perseverance. Anything new and different inspires me. Photos and stories contained on this blog are my own. I create the majority of my recipes featured as well. If I adapt a recipe or find a great one to share from another source, I will give credit where it is due and a link to the original if at all possible. Please ask prior to using photos, writings and recipes and if using, please link to to the original source. Peace and Happy Blogging!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What's For Dinner Wednesday? Fattoush "Crumbled Bread" Salad with Poached Chicken

With the Louisiana summer heat slowly creeping upon us, a fulfilling, refreshing, and simple meal is always welcome and will be even more so as the summer progresses.  Perfectly seasoned poached chicken breasts paired with a zesty crispy salad and rich salty feta cheese is the meal of the evening.  You won't believe the flavor that this dressing adds.  Literally, you'll want to lick the bowl clean, and you can if your dining partners love you for who you are no matter what.  If that's the case, they won't judge.  Roy, our dog, doesn't judge.  He gets me.

Yes, this is a dish of Lebanese origin.  Yes, another one.  I'm sorry, I just can't help myself.  I love Lebanese food.  You will too if you try this, and then, you will thank me for posting about Lebanese food so often and you will want to find yourself a Lebanese best friend right away.  I want to go to eat in Lebanon tomorrow.

The dish begins with toasting the bread, roasting a clove of garlic, and preparing the salad.  While the bread and garlic clove are toasting/roasting, prepare the veggies for the salad.  You can chill the salad if you want while waiting for the chicken to poach.  Not necessary though.  I didn't do this, it was an afterthought.  No matter how hard I try, I am never this organized or prepared ahead of time.  Everything takes two or three attempts for me.  Everything.  Next, poach the chicken.  Poaching the chicken is a very simple process.  All it takes is the chicken, a lovely spice blend and a mixture of water and some chicken broth if you have any on hand.  While the chicken is poaching, go ahead and prepare the dressing.  This dressing is so zesty and delicious, it will make your taste buds sing and dance!  Finally, you'll slice the chicken breasts, toss the salad together with the dressing and toasted bread and serve. 

What's For Dinner Wednesday?  Fattoush Salad with Poached Chicken Breast

Nest Essentials:  Large Skillet, Large Bowl for Salad, Baking Sheet

Nifty Gadgets:  Salad Spinner, Mortar and Pestle, Hand Juicer, Veggie Peeler

Part 1:  Toast the Pita Bread and Roast one clove of garlic

3 Rounds of Pita Bread, drizzled with olive oil and tossed, cut into strips or triangles
1 clove of garlic

1)Preheat the oven to 350F Degrees.  
2)Place the Pita bread on a baking sheet.  Wrap in foil the garlic clove topped with a spot of olive oil. 

3) Bake the Foil wrapped garlic clove in the oven for 10 minutes and remove. Bake the Pita bread in the oven for 15 minutes and remove.
4)  Set both aside.

Part 2:  Prepare the Salad

4 Cups of Romaine Lettuce (sliced into bite sized pieces)
1 Cucumber (peeled, halved lengthwise, sliced across)
Handful of Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
1 Avocado (Quartered and diced)
1/2 Red Onion (thinly sliced)

In a large bowl, layer all of the above in the order above.  Place in the refrigerator if you wish or set aside until the chicken is cooked.

Part 3:  Poach the Chicken (and in the meantime, go to Part 4 to get the dressing going)

1 tsp Salt (I used coarse sea salt)
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Dried Mint
1/2 tsp Peppercorns (I used Multicolored, you may substitute ground pepper)
1/2 tsp Whole Coriander seeds (Feel free to leave this out if none onhand. Or substitute ground coriander)
3 split boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts
1  Cup Water
1/2 Cups Chicken Broth

1) Using a mortar and pestle, blend together the first 5 ingredients.

2)  Place the Chicken Breasts in a large skillet.

3)  Sprinkle the Seasoning over the chicken.
4)  Add the water and broth to the pan.
5)  Turn the heat on Medium-High.  Bring to a boil, cooking approximately 7 minutes depending upon the thickness of the chicken breasts.

6)  Flip the Chicken over and cook another 5 minutes, simmering covered.

7)  Turn off heat.  Check the Chicken.  It should feel slightly tender and spring back when pressed in the middle.  The chicken should not be extra firm, if so, it will likely be overcooked.  If you need to, make a small slice through the thickest part of one to check for doneness.
8)  Keep the cover on with the heat turned off for about 5 minutes. 
9)  Uncover and check for doneness.  Remove from Poaching liquid.  Thinly Slice.

Part 4:  Make the Dressing

2 Garlic Cloves (one roasted from Part 1, one raw)
1/4 tsp Salt
Juice from 2 Lemons
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
Ground Black Pepper for sprinkling

1)  Using a mortar and pestle, combine the 2 garlic cloves and salt and blend together.
2)  Add the Juice from two Lemons.
3) Pour into a small bowl and mix together.
4)  Slowly whisk in the olive oil to emulsify.
5)  Lightly sprinkle with ground black pepper.

Part 5:  Combine to Create the Salad

1) Crumble the Pita Bread into bite sized pieced and add to the salad
2)  Top with the Dressing and Toss
3)  Plate the Salad and top with crumbled Feta Cheese and Kalamata Olives. 
4)  Arrange the Sliced Poached Chicken Breast alongside.
5)  Serve and Enjoy!


Chef Dennis said...

looks like a great salad....thank so much for teaching us about a wonderful Lebanese salad!

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

That dressing looks so fresh! Perfect for the summer months ahead :)

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