Maple Chicken Chopped Salad
Look for a trio of maple applications to bring a subtle sweetness to this vibrant and filling salad. Wheat berries bring a welcomed texture to this otherwise straightforward dish.
For the Maple Marinated Chicken:
- ¼ Cup maple syrup
- 1/8 Cup whole grain mustard
- 2 Tablespoons canola oil
- 1 teaspoon salt½ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 Skinless-boneless all natural chicken breasts (about 4 ounces each)
- 2 Tablespoon snipped fresh chives
For the Maple Dressing:
- ¼ Cup Maple Syrup
- ¼ Cup White wine vinegar
- 1 heaping Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon minced shallot
- Salt and Pepper
- 1/3 Cup olive oil
For the Maple Bacon Garnish:
- 3 Strips of thick cut bacon
- 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
For the Salad:
- 1 Cup wheat berries cooked according to package directions (farro or orzo can be substituted)
- 2-3 ounces baby arugula (a few nice handfuls)
- ¾ Cup halved grape tomatoes
- ½ Cup diced sharp cheddar cheese¼ Cup sliced scallions
Prepare the chicken marinade by mixing together ¼ Cup of syrup with the whole grain mustard, canola oil, salt and pepper. Place the chicken in a zip-bag and add the marinade to the bag. Seal the bag and refrigerate it overnight turning occasionally.
Prepare the dressing while the chicken marinates. Whisk together ¼ Cup maple syrup with the vinegar, Dijon, shallot, salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in the olive oil to make a dressing. Pour into a jar and refrigerate overnight.
When ready to serve prepare the bacon garnish. Place the bacon strips on a rack on a rimmed baking sheet and slide into a cold oven. Turn the oven on to 375 degrees and allow the bacon to cook until brown and slightly crisp (about 20 minutes). Glaze the bacon with the maple syrup, sprinkle with coarse black pepper and return to the oven for 5 -8 minutes. Allow bacon to cool before crumbling or cutting into small pieces.
Meanwhile, prepare a charcoal grill, heat a gas grill or heat a grill pan on the stove until hot, but not smoking. Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill the chicken (taking care not to allow the sugars to scorch) until cooked through about 8 minutes per side. Sprinkle the chicken with the minced chives and chicken to rest while mixing the salad.
To mix the salad, combine the wheat berries, arugula, tomatoes, cheese and scallions in a large bowl. Toss with a couple of tablespoons of dressing and mix well. Divide the salad among 4 serving bowls and slice the chicken breast on the bias before placing it on the salad. Sprinkle each salad with the maple bacon and serve.