Cool off with salads

The sun and the heat are back, and what better way to cool off than with a nice, chilled salad? For those whose simple salads consists of merely lettuce, tomato and some ranch dressing, the chefs at the National Chicken Council have come up with tastier ways to prepare salads.

The Oriental Chicken Salad Dinner and the Peppery Grilled Salad may take two seconds more to prepare, but their delicious tastes will stick with you, and fill you up, longer than the ordinary salad would.

Oriental Chicken Salad Dinner

1 rotisserie chicken

6 cups assorted salad greens

1/2 cup Oriental-style dressing

1 cup shredded carrots

1 cup chow mein noodles

2 green onions, chopped (optional)

Remove drumsticks, wings and thighs from chicken. Set aside for later use. Slice breast meat. In large salad bowl or on a platter, toss salad greens with dressing. Arrange breast meat on salad, and top with carrots and noodles. Garnish with green onions, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Peppery Grilled Salad

1 package (about 11/4 pounds) skinless, boneless chicken thighs

1 teaspoon coarsely ground or cracked pepper

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, divided

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided Salt, to taste

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons wine vinegar

1 tablespoon minced shallots

1 small head Bibb or Boston lettuce, torn into pieces

1 bunch arugula, torn into pieces

1 head Belgian endive, torn into pieces

1/2 pound green beans, cooked tender-crisp

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1 tablespoon minced fresh basil

1 tablespoon minced parsley

Open thighs and pound to flatten to even thickness. Press pepper into both sides of chicken and place in a shallow baking dish. Add 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce. Turn chicken to coat well. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or longer. Prepare grill for cooking.

Brush chicken with 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Grill thighs, uncovered, 5 to 6 inches over medium-hot coals 25 to 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through, turning occasionally.

In salad bowl, combine remaining 1 tablespoon Worcestershire, mustard, vinegar and shallots. Gradually whisk in remaining 5 tablespoons oil. Slice warm thighs and add any meat juices to dressing. Arrange greens around edges of four dinner plates. Toss chicken, beans and tomatoes with dressing, and mound equal portions in middle of greens.

To serve, drizzle salads with any remaining dressing and sprinkle with minced herbs.

Makes 4 servings.

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