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Chimichurri Grilled Chicken & Wilted Kale Salad

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Chimichurri Grilled Chicken & Wilted Kale Salad

This is such a flavorful, light meal that I particularly love in warmer months. Grilled flank steak is a great sub for chicken!
Servings 6

Ingredients

CHIMICHURRI INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 packed cup fresh parsley
  • 1 packed cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup fresh chives
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 small shallot diced into 1/4" pieces
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar sub red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

SALAD INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders diced into 1" bite-sized pieces
  • 1 bunch kale any kind!
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • Ripe avocado for serving
  • goat or feta cheese for topping optional
  • toasted chopped nuts or seeds for serving optional

Instructions

  • Make Chimichurri: In a food processor or wide-base Vitamix, combine all ingredients EXCEPT oil. Pulse until mixture is chunky, 10-20 seconds, then slowly drizzle in oil through the top, until combined to your desired consistency: I like mine a little more incorporated, like pesto.
  • Marinate chicken: Add diced chicken to a large Ziploc bag, and add ½ cup chimichurri. Seal bag and shake to evenly coat, then refrigerate. Refrigerate the rest of the chimichurri. Marinate chicken at least 2 hours and up to 12.
  • Prep kale: Rinse kale and remove stems. Layer several leaves, roll tightly into a ‘tube’ shape, then slice crosswise to create ¼” thick ribbons. Add to a large mixing bowl and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the juice from one lemon. Sprinkle on ¼ teaspoon each salt, pepper and onion powder. Use clean hands to vigorously ‘massage’ oil and spices into the kale, until it has noticeably softened and reduced in volume. Refrigerate.
  • Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat, add avocado oil and turn on your exhaust fan. Test a piece of chicken: when it sizzles as it touches the pan, you’re ready to cook. Add chicken pieces, shaking off excess marinade, making sure not to overlap as much as possible.
  • Sear 5-7 minutes, until golden-brown on the bottom. Chicken should release easily when it’s ready to flip. Flip and cook another 3-4 minutes, until golden-brown and completely cooked through in the thickest part. Remove to a heat-proof dish.
  • Turn heat down to medium, add 1 cup water to the pan and use a wooden spoon or firm spatula to scrape up the brown bits. You can either save these to drizzle over chicken before serving, or discard--but adding the water to the pan while still hot helps making cleaning much easier!
  • Serve chicken warm over kale, with an extra drizzle of chimichurri sauce and any garnish of choice. Leftover chicken will keep tightly sealed in the fridge up to 4 days, kale up to 6 (separate). Leftover chicken will keep frozen up to 3 months.

Notes

*Can sub either/both herbs for fresh basil. Ideas for leftover herbs: 1) Make another batch of chimichurri or a batch of pesto and freeze in silicone molds. 2) finely chop and add to soften butter, then refrigerate for a compound butter (can freeze this) 3) Toss with cooked lentils or potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice for a Springy side dish.
Course: Entree, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: antinflammatory, antioxidants, chicken salad, Dairy Free, dairyfree, family dinner, family friendly, Gluten Free, glutenfree, grain free, healthy, kale salad, salad, salad ideas
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