Food & Drink

Poached chicken makes a juicy salad

Summer chicken salad with black beans and corn.
Summer chicken salad with black beans and corn. McClatchy-Tribune

A colorful salad featuring deliciously moist, flavorful chicken is a cool treat for a warm August evening. The secret to this dish is poaching the chicken and letting it cool slightly in the poaching liquid. The meat remains moist and firm.

This dinner is served on a large platter with the lettuce leaves as a bed for the chicken and the black beans and corn served around the edge. Sliced tomatoes are arranged on the side as a garnish.

Helpful Hints

▪ Any type of lettuce can be used.

▪ Any type of beans such as red kidney or navy beans can be used.

Countdown

▪ Poach chicken.

▪ While chicken cooks, prepare remaining ingredients.

▪ Make black bean and corn salad.

▪ Assemble dish.

Fred Tasker’s wine suggestions: A nice summer salad calls for a nice summer wine – rose. Drink the sweet ones if you must, but I’d prefer a dry rose like Simi rose of Cabernet.

SUMMER CHICKEN SALAD

For the chicken

3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)

4 tablespoons reduced-fat vinaigrette dressing

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

For the salad:

4 cups lettuce leaves from washed, ready-to-eat salad

1 medium tomato, cut into wedges

To cook chicken: Place chicken in a saucepan just large enough to hold it. Add the chicken broth. Add water to make sure chicken is covered by the liquid. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Gently simmer 5 minutes. Do not boil or chicken will be tough. Remove from heat and let chicken sit in liquid for 15 minutes. While the chicken simmers, blanch the beans by microwaving 2 minutes on high or adding to a pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Drain.

Assemble the salad: Remove chicken from liquid and cut into cubes about one inch square. Place in a bowl. Add the green beans and dressing and toss well. Place lettuce on a serving platter. Spoon chicken mixture in center, leaving room around the edge for black beans and corn. Place tomato wedges on one side of platter and sprinkle cilantro over top. Makes 2 servings.

BLACK BEANS AND CORN

1 1/2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained

1 1/2 cups corn kernels, frozen or canned drained

2 tablespoons reduced-fat vinaigrette dressing

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

If using frozen corn, heat 2 minutes in a microwave or place in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain. Toss beans and corn in dressing and adjust seasoning by adding salt and pepper to taste. Spoon around edge of serving platter. Makes 2 servings.

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