This mouthwatering Lemon Chicken Salad makes a substantial meal or terrific for sharing at gatherings! A bright lemon dressing with a touch of honey does double duty as a quick marinade for the chicken. Nutritious, filling and fabulous!
The very first feature I did for Super Food Ideas magazine was called “Double Duty” where I shared recipes where one base mixture was used for two purposes. So for example, I did a Garlic Lime Marinated Prawns (Shrimp) with Green Rice where one lime and garlic mixture was used to marinate the prawns and as the flavour base for a green spinach rice.
Using a salad dressing as a marinade for chicken is Double Duty in its simplest form and this Lemon Chicken Salad is a terrific example where the Lemon Dressing works as a fantastic marinade to infuse chicken with flavour – quickly!
THE LEMON DRESSING
The Lemon Dressing is made with both lemon zest and lemon juice. That way, it actually tastes of lemon. Which might sound strange I know. But actually, lemon juice is just sour. All the lemon flavour is in the skin.
So if you want lemon flavoured anything, you need to use the zest!
CHICKEN BREAST OR THIGH!
If I post a chicken thigh recipe, I absolutely guarantee someone will ask if it can be made with breast. If I post a chicken breast recipe, someone always asks if it can be made with thigh.
So nowadays, I just make sure I cover that off in every single chicken recipe I do.
YES you can make this with chicken breast. YES you can make it with chicken thighs!
I had a bit of a shocker filming and photographing this recipe. I kept forgetting a key ingredient and had to make it over and over again. Which, actually, is not the worst thing in the world because I would scoff it down for lunch within seconds of the last click of the camera.
The last time I filmed it, I was patting myself on the back for remembering everything for the salad – then wailed in frustration when I realised I forgot the bacon.
Hence why some photos have bacon – and some do not.
The video does not. 😤
But in all honesty, it’s an optional extra. Bacon makes everything better. But this Lemon Chicken Salad is terrific even without it! – Nagi x
Recipe video below. A substantial salad with a lemon marinated chicken, dressed with a dill lemon dressing with a touch of honey. You'll love how the dressing does double duty as the marinade! Bacon is optional - totally delicious without, but always fabulous with. Serves 2 as a meal, 4 as a side.
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove , minced
- 1/2 tsp salt + 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 large chicken breast , halved horizontally* OR 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tbsp lemon juice , extra
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp finely chopped dill
- 8 cups cos/romaine lettuce , chopped (or other lettuce of choice, Note 2)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes , halved
- 1 medium avocado , quartered and sliced thickly
- 1/2 red onion , small, finely sliced
- 3/4 cup corn kernels , fresh or canned drained
- 120g/ 4 oz bacon , cooked then chopped (optional)
Place Dressing ingredients in a jar. Shake well.
Place chicken in a bowl. Add 2 tbsp Dressing, 1 tbsp extra lemon juice, plus a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well. Marinate minimum 20 minutes up to 24 hours.
Heat oil in a non stick skillet over medium high heat (or use bacon fat if you use bacon in this!). Add chicken and cook. Halved breasts: 2 minutes each side. Thigh: 4 minutes each side.
Transfer to plate, cover loosely with foil for 3 minutes. Slice.
Add dill into remaining dressing. Shake.
Place remaining salad ingredients in a bowl. Top with chicken.
Drizzle dressing all over. Crumble over bacon if using. Serve immediately!
* To do this, place chicken on cutting board, place hand on top. Use knife to slice horizontally through the chicken so you end up with 2 thinner pieces.
1. If dill isn't to your taste, use coriander/cilantro or chives instead, or even a pinch of dried herbs.
2. I use about 2/3 of a head of cos lettuce.
3. Meal prep: Use chicken thigh for best results (it's juicier reheated). Prepare dressing, marinade and cook chicken per recipe, do not slice. Once cool, store in airtight container. Prepare remaining salad ingredients, store in separate container, store dressing in jar. Keep for up to 3 days. To serve, warm chicken in microwave then slice and assemble salad per recipe.
4. Rotisserie Chicken option: Chop or shred store bought rotisserie chicken. Toss through with 1.5 tbsp Dressing, warm gently (makes flavour infuse better). Toss through salad.
5. Nutrition per serving, assuming 2 servings.
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
LIFE OF DOZER
If he gets any closer to the heater, we might be having roasted Dozer for dinner tonight….