Poppyseed Salad with Lemon Marinated Chicken

When my hubby asked what I want for dinner on Mother’s Day, I knew immediately what to pick.  This.  I’m a sucker for a good salad, and this one is amazing.
Lemon zest is one of my favorite ingredients, and this chicken proves why.  While the lemon juice acts as the acid to really flavor and tenderize the chicken, the zest adds the flavor.
This is a great make ahead meal too, since you could even make the chicken ahead of time and serve cold with the salad, and all of the salad components can be made ahead as well.
And if you are participating in Bountiful Baskets, you might still have some of that amazing red leaf lettuce to use! (We ate all of ours lickety split) : )

For the Salad:

Lettuce (I use red leaf, sometimes with a little romaine mixed in)
Thinly sliced red onion
Crumbled cooked bacon
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Sugared almonds, recipe below
Lemon Marinated Chicken, recipe below
Poppy Seed Dressing, recipe below

Variations: You could also use green leaf, romaine, spinach, or a combination of a couple for the greens.  For a side dish salad, omit the chicken.  If you like cheese in your salad, try shredded swiss or mozzarella cheese.

Sugared Almonds:
Granulated sugar
Almonds  I use sliced, but you could also use whole or slivered

Put equal parts sugar and almonds in a pan and heat over medium high heat, stirring until sugar is melted and becomes amber colored.
Spread out on a silicone mat to cool.  (I keep a container of these in the freezer to pull out for salads, no need to thaw)

Lemon Marinated Chicken:

1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup olive oil (If desired, you can omit the oil entirely, but it really isn’t going to absorb the oil.)
1/3 cup lemon juice
zest of 2 lemons
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp black pepper

Whisk everything but the chicken together then place the chicken in a zip top bag and pour marinade over. (This is optional, but I butterfly the chicken breast to make thinner pieces).
Turn the chicken to make sure it is coated well and seal bag.  Place in the refrigerator and let marinade for 4 hours or more.
Cook on grill or grill pan indoors.  Let rest for a few minutes, then cut in slices.  I serve it room temperature with the salad.

Poppy Seed Dressing:  (Makes about 2 cups)
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard powder (I LOVE Colman’s brand, it’s sold in the bright yellow tin, it’s the only mustard powder I use)
1/3 cup red raspberry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
1/2 cup chopped white onion (about 1/2 a large onion)
1 cup canola oil
2 T poppy seeds

Combine everything except the poppy seeds in a blender until combined.
Stir in the poppy seeds.  If you don’t have a blender, just combine all except the poppy seeds and oil in a bowl, then add the oil in a steady stream while whisking.

Recipe Source: Chicken marinade adapted from Ina Garten, Salad adapted from The Sisters Cafe

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