Chicken Salad with Zucchini, Lemon and Pine Nuts
- TOTAL TIME: 40 MIN Plus 2hr Marinating
- SERVINGS: 4
- 1/3 cup dried currants
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus juice of 2 lemons
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 medium zucchini (2 pounds), cut into 3-by-1/2-inch sticks
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2 cups lightly packed baby arugula leaves
- One 1-inch piece preserved lemon, peel only, slivered (optional)
- In a small bowl, cover the currants with hot water and let stand until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain.
- In a large nonreactive bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the olive oil with the garlic, cumin, lemon zest, half of the lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Add the zucchini and currants and toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, in a large, shallow glass or ceramic dish, combine the minced shallot with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the remaining lemon juice. Add the chicken breast halves, turning to coat thoroughly with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, turning a few times.
- In a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat, tossing a few times, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
- Remove the chicken breast halves from the marinade, scraping off the shallot. Slice the chicken on the bias 1 1/2 inches thick and season with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the chicken slices and cook over moderately high heat, turning a few times, until lightly browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes.
- Transfer the chicken to a large, shallow serving bowl and let cool slightly. Add the marinated zucchini and currants, toasted pine nuts, arugula and preserved lemon and toss lightly. Serve right away.
Hearty main-course salads tend to pair best with a wine that has some body (lighter styles get a bit lost). Try a smoky white from Côtes du Rhône, France.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.