Grilled Chicken + Arugula and Zucchini Salad / by Rattaya Nagorski

The actual title of this dish, from Curtis Stone's cookbook What's For Dinner? was Grilled Chicken with Arugula and Zucchini Salad with Lemon-Caper Vinaigrette. I shortened the title here simply because it was just a lot of to say; even though the vinaigrette itself was equally a star along side the chicken and the salad. Besides that, this dish was quite delicious. It was healthy, tasty, and overall easy to make. 

The vinaigrette took a little bit to prep, but the instructions were really easy. I was grateful to use a few ingredients that I had sitting in the fridge already, such as the capers and the pepperoncini. The dish served four.

GATHER:

Lemon-Caper Vinaigrette

  • 2 tbsp finely chopped shallots
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp coarsely chopped drained nonpareil capers
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped peperoncini
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

CHICKEN

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 6oz each)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

SALAD

  • 5oz baby arugula (about 8 cups not packed)
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 small, thin zucchini
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

MAKE:

  1. To make the vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, whisk the shallots, lemon zest, lemon juice, capers, peperoncini, parsley, and vinegar together. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  2. To cook the chicken: Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken for about 4 minutes per side, or until it is seared with grill marks and shows no sign of pink when pierced in the thickest part with the tip of a small sharp knife. Transfer to a cutting board.
  3. To assemble the salad: In a large bowl, combine the arugula and tomatoes. Trim the ends of the zucchini. One at a time, lay the zucchini flat on a work surface and, using a vegetable peeler and working from the stem end to the blossom end, shave off long, thin ribbons until you reach the seedy center. Turn the zucchini around and repeat on the second side, then repeat on the third and fourth sides. Add the ribbons to the bowl and discard the seedy centers of the zucchini.
  4. Using your hands to avoid breaking the ribbons, gently toss the salad with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cut each chicken breast crosswise into thirds. Transfer a cut chicken breast to each dinner plate and heap some of the salad alongside. Drizzle the chicken and salad with the remaining vinaigrette and serve immediately.