Thursday, April 24, 2014

Jerked Chicken on Greens

I wish I could recall where I read it, (perhaps it was My Life in France), but I remember a phrase Julia Child wrote: "Those awful things called diets". Unfortunately I think it's time for one of those for me.  After an extremely long winter season, it's finally spring around here.  When it was so terribly cold, I'm afraid I loaded up on the comfort food just a bit too much. Now that it is warming up, I feel the need to shed a few pounds I picked up in the last few months.  My solution for this problem has always been to load up on salad.  The good news is that it still can be delicious, especially when the protein is seasoned well like this chicken, just remember to use the dressing in moderation. 

Ingredients for Four Servings:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 small onion, diced
1 Serrano pepper, seeded, membranes cut out, chopped
2 gloves garlic, put through a press
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 cups mixed greens such as kale, spinach, arugula, chard etc.
2 celery stalks
1/2 cup sugar snap peas
1 mango
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup tomato preserves or orange marmalade
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


 In a small food processor or mortar and pestle, grind the onion, Serrano pepper, garlic, ginger, paprika, thyme, fennel, salt, mustard, allspice, pepper, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1 tablespoon vinegar. Rinse the chicken breasts off and pat them dry with a paper towel. Slather them on both sides with the spice mixture. Allow them to sit for 20 minutes, then grill them about 6 minutes per side or until the juices run clear and they are no longer pink in the middle.

Meanwhile, rinse and pat or spin dry the mixed greens.  Using a vegetable peeler, make celery ribbons by running the peeler down the sides of the stalks. Cut the sugar snap peas length wise to reveal the seeds.

Dice the mango by slicing it on either side of the large, flat oval pit in the middle. Then quarter each half and either peel back the skin to cut or score the flesh and run a knife underneath to release the cubes.

Mix up the salad dressing by whisking together the olive oil, vinegar, tomato preserves or orange marmalade, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. (For easy refrigerator tomato jam recipe click here.)

Divide the greens, celery, sugar snap peas, and mango among four plates. Place a sliced grilled chicken breast atop each serving.  Drizzle with the salad dressing and serve.


  1. Wow, that jerk seasoning sounds amazing! And I'm intrigued by your celery ribbons. I'll have to try that!

    1. I stole the idea of the celery ribbons from a restaurant in Chicago called "Summer House Santa Monica" - I liked the place, but it cracked me up that the theme of the place is California in the summer and when I went it was Illinois in the winter!