Saturday, October 23, 2010

Poppy Seed Salad with or without the Chicken

We served this salad as a side dish to Chicken A La King, so we did not add the grilled chicken, but the original recipe that I am posting calls for the chicken, so you can decide to make it with or without. It is so good and you will definately fall in love at first bite, so because you will be making this A LOT for now on, you can try both ways, with chicken or without. This definately got the most compliments at super sat out of all the food. This dressing is to die for! I love it and I am glad the ladies loved it too! Make this salad, it is great!

Spinach leaves
Romaine leaves
Grilled chicken, sliced (Best if marinated in Lemon Grilled Chicken Marinade*, but if you don't have time then grill with lots of lemon pepper seasoning)
Red onion, sliced thinly
Crispy bacon, crumbled
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Toasted almonds (or you can sugar the almonds. Put sliced almonds in a pan with lots of granulated sugar (about equal amounts). Cook on medium heat until sugar melts, coating the almonds as they brown.)

*Lemon Grilled Chicken:
Juice of one lemon (~3 Tb lemon juice)
3 Tb oil
1 tsp minced garlic (~2 large cloves)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
1 lb chicken breasts

Marinate the chicken overnight. For salad, dice the raw chicken and marinate it that way so there is more surface area to marinate. You can get away with marinating for a shorter amount of time this way. Grilling is best, but cooking in a skillet is great, too.

The best part... The Dressing**:
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp dry mustard
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
3 Tb Maui or Vidalia onion, chopped
2 cups canola oil
3 Tb poppy seeds

Mix the first 5 ingredients in a blender, then slowly add the oil, blending until thick. Stir in poppy seeds. Toss all ingredients together with generous amount of dressing before serving.

**This makes a lot of dressing! If you need a really big salad for a party then start with a large bunch of spinach, large head of romaine, 4 chicken breasts, 1 lb bacon, etc. I rarely make a salad that big so that is why there are no "amounts". So have fun with it - you're going to love it!

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