You’d never know I was such a grumpy lady while preparing this dinner. Yesterday was just kind of crazy. I feel like I had a fussy baby clinging to my leg and frizzed out hair and one shoe off around 5:30 yesterday. I guess that isn’t really true…well, except the fussy baby part. We are adjusting to the changes of being in a new place, as we must.
The tired child soon fell fast asleep, and the hubby and I sat down to this very tasty, very peaceful dinner afterwards. I feel much better.
I’m going to call this meal quite budget-friendly. I bought a large pack of chicken thighs and pan-roasted them all, saving some for another meal this week. Lettuce, radishes, and chives are not expensive. The cherries are our week’s very special treat. As long as I control myself with munching from the bowl, I will have some left for another cherry treat, but they totally make this salad. If you’re stuck in a dried fruit rut with your salads, using fresh cherries as this recipe does, is a vibrant change.
Pan Roasted Chicken and Sweet Cherry Salad with Dijon Dressing
adapted from Bon Appétit
4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (I couldn’t find them with either skin or bones, but they were fine)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1/4 C Fresh Lemon Juice
3 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
3 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Dill (I used dried b/c it’s what I had, again, loved it anyway)
2 Tablespoons Honey
1 Clove Garlic, minced
1/4 C Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, plus one Tablespoon (divided)
2 Tablespoons Butter
4 Thick Slices Sourdough Bread, torn into 3/4″ pieces
1 Pound Fresh Cherries, stemmed, pitted, and lightly crushed
1 Large Head Leaf Lettuce
4 Radishes, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon Chopped Chives
Pan Roast Chicken Thighs-
Preheat oven to 475°. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a heavy skillet med-high heat, until just before it smokes (It shimmers). Place chicken in with skin side down until skin is golden brown, about 12 minutes. Transfer to oven to cook for 13-15 minutes more. Flip chicken and cook another 5 minutes until skin crisps and meat is cooked through. Let rest 5 minutes.
Using two forks, pull chicken into bite-sized pieces and set aside*.
*If using my money and time-saving method, cook 7-8 chicken thighs the same way, pull apart all chicken. Reserve 2 Cups cooked chicken for the salad and store the remainder for a broccoli chicken and rice casserole later in the week.
Prepare the Dressing-
In a small bowl, whisk together the Lemon Juice, Dijon Mustard, Dill, Honey, Garlic. Gradually drizzle in Olive Oil while whisking to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
*I recommend doubling this recipe and keeping this dressing on hand in a jar. It is outstanding!
Croutons + Assembling Salad-
In the same skillet used for the chicken thighs (yes, use the fat!) Melt the Butter and 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil. When bubbling, place torn sourdough bread pieces in and cook, stirring frequently, for two minutes or until golden. Remove from skillet and drain onto paper towel. Season lightly with salt and pepper while hot.
Place pulled chicken in a large salad bowl. Add cherries, lettuce, radishes, and chives, and drizzle with the dijon dressing. Toss to coat. Divide among plates and garnish with croutons.
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