Chicken, Hearts of Palm, and Avocado Chop Chop Salad

Posted by on Wednesday Mar 27th, 2013 | Print

There are weeks when I think I could subsist entirely on oatmeal, grilled cheese, pizza, and pasta. Despite nightmares of leafy greens coming to attack me just so I’ll take a bite of something with nutrients, I’m not unhappy with this diet. Until I remember: this is no way for a grown-up to live.

Grown-ups eat vegetables. Especially grown-ups like me who actually like vegetables.

Usually, when I’ve had one of those bread-and-cheesy weeks, it’s out of laziness. Vegetables can take a little longer to prepare: washing, drying, cutting. What a slog, I think from my pizza haze. The real nightmare in that case is the head of washed Swiss chard splashing around my kitchen, leaving puddles on my countertop as it begs me to eat it.

And so this–an amazing, healthful, fresh, tasty, unusual chopped salad–is a salad for lazy people. It’s good for you, and yet almost all of its vegetables come from cans or the freezer. Which is amazing if you ever need a healthful meal when you’ve gotten back from vacation or haven’t shopped in a while. Grab some avocado, bake (or buy) some roasted chicken, and go. 

This recipe was featured in The Splendid Table’s weekly recipe newsletter, which I highly recommend. The original recipe, by Patricia Jinch (whose book I’ve now got to get my hands on), didn’t use chicken, which means this could easily go vegetarian if you like. Top with sunflower or pumpkin seeds in that case.

P.S. As per the above nightmare: How to stay healthy when you’re a food lover.

**Recipe**

Chicken, Hearts of Palm, and Avocado Chop Chop Salad
Adapted from Patricia Jinch’s Pati’s Mexican Table, via The Splendid Table
Serves 4

If you make the chicken in advance, this salad takes minutes to throw together. (And, if you are making the chicken in advance, throw in a couple more pieces to have later in the week.) In season, you could certainly use fresh corn cut from the cob.

Ingredients

For the Salad
1 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
One 14-ounce can hearts of palm, cut into chunks (about 1 1/3 cups)
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed under running water and drained
3 roasted red peppers, washed well and drained, then cut into bite-sized pieces
2 ripe avocados, cut in half, pit removed, cut in a cross hatch then scooped out
Cilantro for garnish

For the Vinaigrette
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice (about half a lime)
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
¾ teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or more to taste
¼ teaspoon oregano
1 scallion, white and light green parts, sliced
1/2 teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Wash the chicken and dry it very well with a paper towel. Place it on a parchment- or foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the skin is crispy and the juices from the chicken run clear. Cool completely – at least 1 hour, but you can also store for a couple days in the fridge. (Hint: if you like crispy chicken skin, eat it right away, before you refrigerate.)

Remove the chicken from the bone as neatly as possible. Cut into bite-sized cubes and place them in a large bowl. Add the hearts of palm, corn, red peppers, and avocados.

In a second bowl, make the vinaigrette: whisk together the vinegar, lime juice, and mustard. Slowly drizzle in both oils, whisking as you go so the dressing emulsifies. Add the salt, oregano, scallion, honey, and pepper, and combine.

Pour most of the dressing over the salad and toss gently so you don’t smush the avocado. Serve, garnished with cilantro.

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  • marie @ little kitchie

    I fall into the same slump all. the. time. But it always feels so good to get back to veggies and gorgeous salads like this one! I love the hearts of palm and avocado combo – one of my favorites in salads!

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      Avocado’s always been a favorite, but hearts of palm is sort of new for me!

  • Caitlin

    Beautiful salad!

  • Juliana Walters

    This salad looks so great. I love hearts of palm but they are so dang expensive. I wonder why. I guess I could google the reason. Anyway, nice salad!

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      It might take a lot of palm trees to make one can of hearts of palm? However, they make this salad ultra good, so…

  • http://www.hungrymeetshealthy.com/ Christina

    Just made this!! Delicious!!!

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      Glad you enjoyed!

  • Jaimie

    I just made this today and it’s one of the best salads I’ve ever had. Thanks for my new go-to healthy lunch!

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      So glad you enjoyed!

  • Christine

    So I accidentally read this as “artichokes” instead of “avocado.” Big whoops. Since I love artichoke anyways, I decided to go ahead and try them in this and not to bother running to the store to get avocados, and it turned out great! I just thawed a bag of the frozen artichoke hearts from Trader Joes and kept everything else the same and it’s delicious! Plus, now it’ll keep for several days and I don’t have to worry about brown avocados. :)

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      Love the sound of this new recipe!