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Scandinavian Salade Nicoise with Poached Chicken

I made this dinner with the help of my mother.  My father and Mike had both worked a really long day in the middle of a ridiculous heat wave that hit southern Ontario this summer.  My mother and I thought a cold dinner, ie, salad was a no-brainer, apparently Mike and my father had a different idea; I can still feel the glares burning through my face.  With that said; they loved this salad, loved the dressing and they were full!  I consider that, a win.

Serves 4

2 Skinless, boneless chicken breasts

4 (Large) eggs, boiled, peeled and halved

4 Medium, new potatoes, boiled and quartered

20 Green beans, washed, trimmed, and steamed

70 g Spring mix lettuce (half of a small box)

1 Large tomato, sliced in wedges

Quarter of a seedless/English cucumber, sliced (skin on)

8 Kalamata olives

1 Batch of the Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Salt

Pepper

A small handful of fresh dill, chopped

–  Place the chicken breasts in a pot and cover them with stock or water (season with salt if you’re using water).  Bring the stock/water to a boil and then drop the heat to medium low; cover with a lid and let the chicken poach for 15 to 20 minutes, until it’s cooked through.

–  When the chicken is cooked, set it aside to cool.

–  At this point you can cook the potatoes, steam the green bean (steam for about 5 minutes) and boil the eggs (refer to ‘how to boil an egg’ if unsure); you want everything cooled to room temperature as well.

–  When all of the ingredients are cooked, prepped and cooled to room temperature, evenly lay the lettuce across a serving platter.

–  Arrange the ingredients any way you like (this is your salad now!) but I sliced the poached chicken and then placed it in the centre of the platter.  Then I arranged the tomatoes in one corner, the cucumber in one corner, the potatoes in one and the green beans in the other.  I placed the eggs and olives evenly between these items and then I drizzled the salad dressing over the platter in a zig-zag manner.

–  Lightly season the entire platter with salt and pepper.

–  Top with the fresh dill.

Notes:

  1. The dill makes it Scandinavian!
  2. Feel free to arrange some anchovy fillets on the platter as well; this is standard in the traditional nicoise salad.
  3. Also, traditionally this salad is made with a light vinaigrette that each item is coated in and the protein is typically tuna; in case you’re wondering.
  4. It’s a good idea to prep this salad ahead of time; it makes the assembly a lot easier!
  5. Switch up the protein and/or dressing for a completely new salad experience!  Shrimp, fish such as cod or salmon would be amazing here.