Caprese Chicken Salad
I should call this chicken salad "Forgotten Salad" as I made it once to enjoy on a train trip and forgot it at home (our house sitter enjoyed it though). Using the same ingredients as a Caprese Salad - with basil-infused chicken breasts added - this make-ahead salad is just right for dinner on a hot summer night and picnic perfect. Ciliegini are little balls of fresh mozzarella cheese - about the same size as cherry tomatoes.
FOR THE CHICKEN:
2 chicken breast halves, without bones or skin
4 stems fresh basil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
FOR THE DRESSING:
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt
Black pepper, to taste
FOR THE SALAD:
8 ounces fresh miniature mozzarella balls (ciliegini), drained and rinsed
2 cups cherry (or grape) tomatoes, left whole
Handful fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
Place the chicken breasts in a medium sauce pan with the fresh basil (stems and all), salt and garlic. Add enough water to just cover the chicken and bring the pot to a boil. Stir and reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for ten minutes, uncovered, then remove from heat, cover and let rest until the pot is cool enough to refrigerate, about one hour. Refrigerate the entire contents overnight.
Next day, make the salad dressing by combining the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside. Remove the chicken from the pot. Discard the cooking water, basil and garlic. Cut the chicken into dice-sized cubes. Place in salad bowl and toss with the salad dressing. Then add the ciliegini, tomatoes and fresh basil. Toss well to coat all ingredients with the salad dressing.
Serves 2 generously.