Bruschetta Chicken Salad

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One of my favorite things that happens when I’m cooking is I tend to get inspired to create entirely different recipes using the ingredients or concepts that I am using at that given moment.  Am I making sense?  Let me explain a little further.

A couple of weeks ago, I was making tomato bruschetta for a dinner party we were having.  (Side note:  one of the best party foods ever, just FYI. ) I started daydreaming about how I could translate the exact same flavor experience into a salad with some tender protein on top.  Hence, this Bruschetta Chicken Salad was born!

This recipe uses all of the key ingredients that you need to make a kick ass bruschetta – tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, fresh basil and garlic.  By making homemade bite-sized croutons, you maintain the crispy component that is usually some sort of toasted bread.  Adding some balsamic-blackened chicken breast and serving over crisp lettuce allows you to enjoy all of these fresh ingredients in a totally different way.  Same amazing flavor, different texture.  Perfectly portable.

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What will you need? (makes 2 salads)

For the blackened-balsamic chicken:

1 large chicken breast

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp olive oil

A sprinkle of dried herbs/spices – dried basil, oregano, rosemary, salt, pepper

For the salad + bruschetta mix:

4 cups cold romaine leaves, torn

2 medium tomatoes, diced and seeded

6 leaves fresh basil

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ cup olive oil

1 large clove garlic, finely minced

Salt, pepper

For the croutons:

2 slices of wheat bread, cut into small squares

1 tbsp butter, melted

How do you make it?

In a small pan, heat some olive oil, salt, pepper and a mixture of dried herbs.  Cook your chicken breast until it is about 90% done.  Remove the chicken from the heat and cut into 1-inch thick strips.  See how it is still a little pink in the picture below?  This is so you don’t overcook it when you blacken the outside!

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In the same pan, bring 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar to a simmer.  Add the chicken back at high heat and blacken the outside with the simmering balsamic.  YESSSS.

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In a separate bowl, combine the diced tomato, sliced basil leaves, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh garlic, salt and pepper.  I swear, it is going to take every last ounce of restraint to not eat all of this with a spoon.

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To make the croutons, melt a little bit of butter in a small skillet and bring to light simmer.  Add the bread cubes in and toss until the outsides are brown and crispy!  Toss with a little bit of salt and pepper for some additional seasoning.

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Ok.  All three components of your salad are ready.  Let’s make it look sexy now.

Start with a bed of freshly torn romaine leaves.

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Add a spoonful of the tomato mixture on top.

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Followed by your blackened balsamic chicken, croutons and more tomatoes on top.

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Holy CRAP.  Behold.

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  1. I do that too! It’s how I came up with Root Beer Float Cookies. Some people look at me like I’m strange when I tell them my inspired ideas, but I don’t mind — their taste buds tell me otherwise! ;)

  2. I love the flavors of bruschetta. They’re so fresh and the perfect pairing for a salad. I enjoy making a similar type salad and adding avocado to the top.

    • Ummmm YES PLEASE?! I’ve never thought of avocado going with these flavors, but of course that would be amazing! If only I had a ripe avocado right now… Haha. Let me know if you ever make something similar!

  3. LOVE the look of this! If I substitute the bread with some cheese and maybe add some celery (for the crunch) this would be a fabulous LCHF friendly dish! Thank you for the inspiration :)

  4. What a great looking dinner! I can’t wait til my tomatoes come in, this would be great to make with them!

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