Balsamic marinated and grilled chicken, with crispy bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and feta make for one amazing entree salad!
Can you believe it is already the last week of June?? And the temperatures here in central Texas are already topping 100, so it should be an interesting (re: HOT) summer, to come. I may not be a fan of cold weather, but when it feels like your skin is boiling and you are sitting in the shade, that is too dang hot.
We took the RV camping last weekend for Father’s Day, and there were definitely moments when it was too hot out, especially for the baby. That is when having a travel trailer with air conditioning is most appreciated. I mean, I know RV camping isn’t “real” camping, but I have a baby, and no way am I subjecting her to the Texas heat in a tent. We did take her swimming in her new floaty, and hiking briefly until it got too hot. It was a good weekend, with some good grilling, but one thing that is always nice in the heat of summer, besides grilling, is a good entree salad. Filling, but not a heavy meal. Because for some reason heavy meals make the heat even less bearable.
And when that salad has chicken, bacon, avocado, tomatoes, and feta in it…you won’t even remember that you’re eating a salad! Did I mention that it’s balsamic chicken?? Because you know my weakness for balsamic-anything. Oh, and the best part??? The chicken doesn’t have to be marinated overnight. I say that’s the best thing because, I often forget I need to marinate something until the day of, which sort of defeats the purpose of meal planning. Sheesh.
And then you drizzle (or douse) on your favorite dressing, devour what is in your bowl, and go back looking for seconds. You probably want to make sure there is enough for seconds. You don’t want an angry mob of hungry gremlins coming after you. It’s not pretty.
Trust me when I say, this is not a salad you want to go all summer without trying. And it isn’t just good for summer, but it is pretty perfect for the season. Oh, oh! And, for those of you who are like J and I, taking leftovers for lunch the next day, there is no need to heat anything – the chicken is just as good cold! J especially loves these type of lunches because it’s quicker and easier for him to eat on the go, while at work.
Quick and easy lunch or dinner, even quicker leftovers!
Balsamic Chicken BLT Salad with Avocado & Feta
For the balsamic marinade:
- ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp water (or more oil if you wish)
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp honey
- 4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts (or thighs, if you prefer!)
- 4-6 slices bacon, diced
- 8 cups mixed salad lettuce leaves
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes (I use grape tomatoes, but you could use 2 roma or other tomato of choice)
- 1 large avocado , peeled, pitted, and sliced
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- extra Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper , to taste
- Combine the marinade ingredients together in a medium bowl and stir or whisk until well combined. Place chicken in a shallow dish, and pour marinade over the top. Use tongs to turn to coat evenly. Pour 2-3 tablespoons into a shallow bowl. Add the chicken thighs and coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper and set aside while you cook the bacon.
- In a medium skillet, cook the bacon pieces over medium heat, until browned and crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Drain most of the bacon grease, leaving just enough to cook the chicken in.
- Return the skillet to the stove, over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and cook for 5-7 minutes per side, depending on thickness, until cooked through. Remove chicken to a cutting board and allow to sit for about 5 minutes before slicing into 1/2" strips (or bite-size pieces, if you prefer.)
- Place about 2 cups of salad in each bowl, and divide the chicken, bacon, tomatoes, avocado, and feta evenly on top. Top with extra Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, if desired. And then, your favorite dressing. Of course a balsamic vinaigrette would be delicious, but this salad is very versatile!
Source: Cafe Delites