Chicken, Bacon, Date and Brussels Sprouts Quinoa Power Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free chicken broth
  • 4 slices gluten-free bacon
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • garlic salt and pepper
  • 9oz package shredded brussels sprouts
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 jumbo shallots, sliced into thin rings then separated
  • 6oz mixed greens
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 5 Medjool dates, chopped
  • 3oz chèvre (goat cheese), crumbled
  • For the Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette:
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons real maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Rinse quinoa under cold running water in a fine mesh sieve then add to a small saucepan with chicken broth. Bring to a boil over high heat then place a lid on top, turn heat down to medium-low, then simmer until quinoa is tender and broth is absorbed, 13-15 minutes. Fluff with a fork then set aside to cool – can be done several days ahead of time.
  2. Add bacon to a large, 12”+ skillet then place over medium heat. Cook until crisp then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and chop once cool enough to handle. Pour bacon grease, except for enough to thinly coat the bottom of the skillet, into a small dish then set aside (do not discard.) Season both sides of the chicken breasts with garlic salt and pepper then add to the skillet, turn heat up to medium-high, and saute until cooked through, 3-4 minutes a side. Transfer chicken to the plate then chop once cool enough to handle.
  3. Add 2 Tablespoons bacon grease into the skillet then add brussels sprouts and turn heat down to medium. Season with garlic salt and pepper then saute until sprouts are golden brown and tender, 7-9 minutes. Transfer to the plate to cool.
  4. Turn heat back up to medium-high then add the remaining bacon grease plus enough extra virgin olive oil to equal 1/4 cup fat in the skillet. When fat is hot but not smoking, add half the shallot rings then fry until light golden brown (dark brown will taste bitter,) 1-2 minutes, stirring often. Transfer shallots with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate to drain then sprinkle lightly with salt. Repeat with second half of shallots then set aside.
  5. For the Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette: add all ingredients to a jar with a tight fitting lid or a bowl then shake or whisk to combine. Can be done several days ahead of time.
  6. Add lettuce to a very large bowl then add cooled quinoa, bacon, chicken, brussels sprouts, avocado, and dates then drizzle with vinaigrette to taste and toss well. Transfer salads to plates then top with chevre and fried shallots, and serve.

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