Summer Grilled Chicken & Corn Chopped Salad

We have grilled chicken pretty often during the summertime - especially barbecue chicken. The marinade is easy (we just dump a bottle of BBQ sauce in a tupperware with raw chicken breasts, how much easier can that get?), heating the grill outside on the balcony is much less work than dealing with the oven heating up our little apartment or even having to work with the aftermath of grilling up the meat inside on my grill pan on the stove, and the taste of slightly charred grilled chicken is downright tasty every single time. 

Now, I've heard grilled chicken get a pretty bad rap. The words dry and chewy are usually thrown into the description. Now, I've had my fair share of botched batches of grilled chicken. Some well overcooked, some practically inedible because of nasty under-cooking. But I've learned that there's a technique to it, and having a meat thermometer handy is always a good idea. Most of what I've learned about grilling chicken is from a lot of practice. Eventually thing eventually just clicked, and it's much easier to know when it's the perfect time to pull the chicken off the grill. I also learned that after pulling the chicken off the grill, it needs a good rest covered in aluminum foil before serving. This helps the juices seep back in, the meat become much more tender, and the flavors intensify. All with just that simple step! Let's dive into this salad...

Doesn't this salad look gorgeous! All of those neat rows of color and flavor are just killin' me Smalls! As always, every salad you make can and should be customized. But I feel like these ingredients together worked so perfectly - there's just enough spice and a bit of different textures to compliment all the different flavors you're going to find in each bite. 

Arugula/Spinach Spring Mix: My husband hates this stuff. But that's not why I chose it. haha. I LOVE the buttery arugula and the bite of the more intense leaves you'll find in this mix. It adds so much more flavor than a simple bed of romaine or spinach. 

Pepper Jack Cheese: My new love of 2014. I use it on sandwiches, grilled cheese, in salads, everywhere. It's getting a little insane at this point, but I just can't get over that creamy light texture, with the little kick aftertaste I always look forward to. This salad needed some spice, and the cheese is a great way to kick it up a few notches. 

Bacon: Because, bacon. 

Grilled Chicken: The star of the show. You can make this salad without it, but only if you serve it alongside the grilled chicken breasts. :)

Grilled Corn: This salad needs a little sweet pop, and the corn is perfect for that texture, and the bright yellow for color. 

Grape Tomatoes: I knew I wanted tomatoes. The small tomatoes keep their shapes much easier when getting tossed together for the salad. Each is a little burst of juice that seeps into the rest of the ingredients. It's just dreamy! (if you like tomatoes, that is).

Green onions: This salad needed some bite. Instead of too much crisp from a white or red onion, I knew we needed a soft bite, but not something overwhelming. The green onion was perfect (and if you have a little extra time, grilling the green onions beforehand is a great idea!) 

Dressing: We ate this completely raw without any dressing at all, but you can serve this up with something creamy like a blue cheese or ranch dressing. Even a little cilantro dressing might be fun here. 

So if you're looking to grill up a little chicken for dinner this weekend, throw it on a salad with these other tasty ingredients! Summer never tasted so delicious! 

Grilled Chicken & Corn Chopped Salad
makes 6-8 servings

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 C BBQ sauce
3 cobs of corn, shucked & ends removed
16oz mixed greens
4 green onions, chopped
2 C grape tomatoes, halved
6 slices of bacon, cooked until crisp, then crumbled
6oz pepper jack cheese, cubed

1. Marinate the chicken breasts and BBQ sauce together in a tight-fitting tupperware container or large ziplock bag for at least 4 hours. Preheat your grill.
2. Remove chicken from BBQ sauce marinade, and discard marinade. Place raw meat on grill, and grill on medium high heat on one side for about 4-6 minutes (until dark grill marks show, and chicken has a golden color), then flip over on the other side, and grill for about 2-3 minutes. Don't overcook, but don't undercook. Using a meat thermometer reaching 165 degrees when inserted in the middle is what you're shooting for.
3. Place grilled chicken on a plate and cover with aluminum foil. Grill corn (much quicker than the chicken) until kernels are slightly charred, but still have a little soft pop to the kernels. Remove from heat, cover with aluminum foil.
4. Prepare salads. Place a bed of greens on each plate (or large serving plate). Working in neat horizontal layers going longways or shortways, line up the other ingredients: green onions, grape tomatoes, bacon, and pepper jack cheese.
5. Cube the grilled chicken, and slice the kernels off the grilled corn on the cob. Neatly add the grilled ingredients to the salad in the previously designed fashion. Serve with your favorite blue cheese, ranch, cilantro, or other creamy dressing.

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1 comment:

  1. Ok this looks wonderful. I am going to have to make it very soon!


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