Grilled Chicken Winter Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette ~ Hearty salad loaded with chicken, fruit, candied pecans, and bleu cheese in a tangy vinaigrette.
Ok, ok, I love kale. I know I toss it in everything I can possibly toss a green into. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that I am content to just eat a heaping salad comprised simply of kale. Toss in a few seasonal goodies available right now and I am one happy girl.
Cuties, those mandarin (clementine) oranges are all around and are my favorite fruit this time of year. They contrast the sharp greens with their delicate sweetness.
But I couldn’t stop there, I had candied pecans, bleu cheese, and dried cranberries as well. Now that was the makings of the most perfect salad.
Chicken is something I always have on hand so I quickly grilled that up. But the salad dressing was where I needed to stop and think for a bit. I rummaged though my “to make” Pendaflex file of index cards with recipes I’ve jotted down and I came across one for cranberry vinaigrette.
I knew I had already purchased cranberry juice in concentrate to make the vinaigrette a while back. There’s cranberry sauce still in the fridge from the holidays, and the remaining ingredients were simply pantry staples.
What Are the Best Greens to Use in a Salad
I served this with all kale for dinner to a friend. It was eaten happily but it was suggested maybe mixed greens would be best, for those who are not kale freaks like me. Do such people exist?
The next day, I served it to another friend for lunch using romaine as I knew kale would not be overly exciting to this diner. When you make it, use a green of your choice. If you love kale like I love kale, use all kale. If you are mixed greens person, that will work too.
Heck, I’m sure iceberg will be just fine if that’s how you roll. With all the goodies in this salad, you’ll have some seriously happy tastebuds. Grilled Chicken Winter Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette will be happy on any type of green that you select.
Delicious Salad Recipes
Grilled Chicken Winter Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette
Hearty salad loaded with chicken, fruit, candied pecans, and bleu cheese in a tangy vinaigrette.
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/8 tsp salt; +/- to taste
- 1/4 tsp black pepper; +/- to taste
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp granulated garlic
- 1/4 cup cranberry sauce
- 1 tbsp cranberry juice concentrate
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil (I used safflower)
- 1 bag kale , mixed greens, or lettuce blend
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots or matchstick
- 1/2 cup chopped purple cabbage
- 14 cup candied pecans pieces
- 2 grilled chicken breasts; sliced
- 3-4 Cuties; peeled and segmented , halved, if desired
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the oil.
Slowly whisk the olive oil in, then the safflower oil.
Continue whisking, increasing the speed until emulsified.
Chill until ready to be used.
Give it a quick stir. just prior to serving.
Wash, toss, and dry the greens.
Prep the carrots and the cabbage.
Break up the pecans if they are whole.
Sliced the cooked, grilled chicken.
Peel and segment the clementines (Cuties), slice in half, if desired.
Layer the salad with the greens, then all of the other ingredients, and drizzle with the desired amount of vinaigrette. Top with the bleu cheese crumbles.
Serve and Enjoy