Chicken Lentil Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

Chicken Lentil Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

First created in Dijon, France, creamy Dijon-style mustard has an assertive yet refined flavour that can gussy up sauces and salad dressings. It’s most often a mixture of yellow and more pungent black mustard seeds that is produced according to strict French guidelines. Poaching chicken breasts, which have a tendency to dry out during cooking, is a great way to keep the meat deliciously moist. This salad can serve double duty as an elegant dinner entree or a nutritious workweek lunch.

3/4 cup (180 mL) black beluga lentils
1 lb (450 g) boneless, skinless, free-range, organic chicken breast
1/2 tsp (2 mL) sea salt, divided
6 cups (1.5 L) salad greens
2 apples, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
1/3 cup (80 mL) chopped mint
3 oz (85 g) soft goat cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup (80 mL) chopped walnuts
2 Tbsp (30 mL) cider vinegar
2 Tbsp (30 mL) creamy Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp (30 mL) honey
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/4 tsp (1 mL) turmeric
1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil

In medium saucepan, combine lentils and 3 cups (750 mL) water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and let cool to room temperature.

To poach chicken, place breasts and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt in pot large enough so that chicken lies flat in one layer. Add enough water to completely cover chicken by about 1 in (2.5 cm). Bring water to a very slight simmer with just a few bubbles breaking the surface. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and cook for 15 minutes, or until meat is cooked through. Adjust heat as needed during cooking to maintain a slight simmer. Remove chicken from water and slice thinly.

In large bowl, toss together lentils, chicken, salad greens, apples, red bell pepper, cucumber, mint, goat cheese, and walnuts.

In small bowl, whisk together cider vinegar, mustard, honey, garlic, shallot, turmeric, black pepper, and remaining salt. Slowly whisk in olive oil.

Divide salad among serving plates and drizzle mustard dressing over top.

Serves 6.

Each serving contains: 404 calories; 29 g protein; 18 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 34 g total carbohydrates (14 g sugars, 11 g fibre); 380 mg sodium

from “Cooking with Mustard“, alive #365, March 2013

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