Poached Chicken, Mango, Avocado, and Blueberry Salad with Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

Chx Avo Mango Blueberry Salad vertical

Do you despise rubbery, tasteless chicken? I do! The only solution I’ve found that renders succulent, slice-able chicken for salads or Alfredo or whatever (without confiscating the choice parts of a whole roast chicken at the table for “later”) is poaching. Although come to think of it, that first method is “poaching” too… but let’s move on.

When chicken breasts — even the boneless, skinless variety — are submerged and cooked at the gentlest of simmers (I’m talking barely a bubble) over the lowest heat possible, magic happens! Plus, you can “influence” the chicken’s flavor by whatever you throw in to simmer along with it. (I believe the proper term is infuse.)

For this batch I alternated whole carrots and celery stalks, chunks of onion, and a couple of garlic cloves in my Dutch oven, laid the chicken breasts on top (so as not to cook them too quickly on the bottom of the pan — the higher off the heat, the better), added a half-dozen black peppercorns, several sprigs of fresh parsley, a sprinkle of sea salt and a bay leaf topped with enough cold water to cover all of the above. Let the poaching begin!

Granted, it takes a bit of patience, but the tender results are worth your time (and mine) — not to mention more chicken stock for the freezer. Win, win! And hey, how ’bout those frozen blueberries… I feel a salad coming on. (I love visual reminders, don’t you?)

Blueberries and Chx Stock

Poached Chicken, Mango, Avocado, and Blueberry Salad with Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

Assorted greens (I used a “bagged mix” but anything with arugula is fine by me)

1 poached, sliced chicken breast (for an excellent tutorial on poaching click here — many thanks to The Kitchn!)

1 cup diced mango

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced

Juice of 1 lime, freshly squeezed

1/2 cup blueberries (I used frozen, obviously)

Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

(adapted from Jodee Wieland’s “Delicious Homemade Honey Mustard Vinaigrette recipe here — thanks, Jodee!)

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 Tbsp. spicy brown mustard (Gulden’s or Grey Poupon)

1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup (the real deal)

3 drops hot sauce (Frank’s Red Hot or Louisiana style hot sauce) (no doubt I used more… let’s just say “to taste”)

1 small clove garlic, minced

Freshly ground black pepper & sea salt (ditto on “to taste”)

Assemble salad greens in the bottom of a large shallow bowl.

Top with artfully arranged slices of poached chicken, mango, avocado, and blueberries drizzled with freshly squeezed lime juice.

Pour on the Maple Mustard Vinaigrette and enjoy!

Poached chicken, avocado, mango, and blueberries with Spicy Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

There’s nothin’ complicated about this salad — just start slicin’ and dicin’ whatever’s in your fridge for your very own flavor fest and throw on a tasty vinaigrette — but, please take the time to properly poach your chicken first.

Enjoying weekend wonders,

~ Kim

Sharing Is Caring (Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls)

Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls

Every once in awhile an idea comes along that’s so astoundingly simple, I whack myself on the forehead and exclaim, “Now why didn’t I think of that?!”  Blog world’s many creative cooks have made my kitchen (and neighborhood) a much tastier place.

A few years back I started a new tradition, baking homemade cinnamon rolls for our neighbors on Labor Day Monday.  I believe each one of us is blessed with talents, tools, and time to bless others — plus, it makes me happy sending my delivery boy (The Man Of Few Words) to their door with a plateful of oven lovin’.

Who doesn’t like warm cinnamon rolls accompanied by a friendly grin?

If there’s one thing food bloggers exemplify, it’s the spirit of sharing — lives, hearts, homes, and recipes — and it’s a delight to pass on what I’ve learned.

Sharing is caring.

A few weeks prior to this years’ tradition, I discovered Closet Cooking’s Blueberry Maple Pecan Cinnamon Buns (thanks, Kevin!) and “knew” they were the ones I wanted to share.  Not only did the blueberries add an enticing  fruit “pop,” the dough was one of the loveliest I’ve ever worked with — soft & silky — and it baked up beautifully.

Cinnamon Roll with Blueberries ready to eat

For the Labor Day version, I omitted the pecans (wasn’t sure if the neighbors had food allergies) and made more of a “frosting” than a glaze, but I highly suggest following Kevin’s recipe to a T.  Simple, scrumptious, spectacular.

The neighbors loved ’em!

Plus, I had leftover blueberries to munch on.  (Win/win.)

Blueberries

Are you a food “sharer?”  What’s your favorite thing to give?

Enjoying the spirit of sharing,

~ Kimby