I asked Hubby whether our summer garden had grown anything that I had not blogged upon, or had I covered all my bases? In a very hurt tone he quickly pointed out that I had written not a single syllable about our banana pepper crop--first-timers to our garden this year.
That prompted me to dredge up this recipe for Parisian Chicken Salad, in which banana peppers were star attractions. Once they sampled it, even some family members not big on bragging about chicken salad dishes were begging for the recipe for this healthy, attractive combination.
Our banana peppers showed up in the garden quite by accident. Hubby, thinking he was buying regular green pepper and jalapeno pepper plants, unsuspectingly slipped a banana pepper one into the soil. We were surprised when it began appearing but thought about the banana peppers we often request when we get our subs custom-made at restaurants such as Subway. We thought we'd have fun growing our own.
Like my French Cabbage recipe that appeared in this blog several months back, I'm not sure why this chicken salad has "Parisian" in the title, but we're thankful for the Better Homes and Gardens website for originally supplying it. Like many others, for several years it's hung around my summer recipe binder waiting to be prepared.
I'm grateful to our unexpected but appreciated crop of banana peppers for giving me excuse to try Parisian Chicken Salad. Like most of us it just gets better with age. The longer the chicken can soak up the marinade (either overnight or at least 8 hours), the more flavorful the end result.
Parisian Chicken Salad
4 medium skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel
1/3 cup orange juice (juice for this addition as well as for the one below may be obtained from juice generated when you section the orange in the step below)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt (I use salt substitute)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped green onions
4 cups torn baby salad greens
2 medium banana peppers, halved, seeded, and thinly sliced
2 medium oranges, peeled, sectioned, and membrane removed
2 tablespoons shelled pistachios, unsalted
Place chicken in a heavy, large self-sealing plastic bag set in a shallow dish. For marinade, in a bowl combine orange peel, the 1/3 cup orange juice the 4 cloves garlic, the honey, and thyme. Pour over chicken. Seal bag; turn to coat chicken. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight; turn bag occasionally. Drain chicken; discard marinade. Place chicken on unheated rack of a broiler pan. Season with half of the salt and half of the pepper. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat for 12 to 15 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink. Turn chicken once halfway through broiling. Meanwhile, for dressing, in a screw-top jar combine olive oil, vinegar, the 2 tablespoons orange juice, the 2 cloves garlic, the green onions, the remaining salt, and the remaining pepper, Cover; shake well. To serve toss greens, chicken , oranges, peppers, and pistachios. Pour dressing over and toss. Makes 4 servings.