Smoky Chicken Salad
- 2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 jarred piquillo peppers (2 whole, 1 thinly sliced)
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 16 small Bibb or romaine lettuce leaves
- 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons salted Marcona almonds, roughly chopped
Preheat a grill to high. Toss the chicken with 1 tablespoon olive oil, the paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a medium bowl. Grill the chicken until marked and cooked through, about 7 minutes per side. Let cool slightly, then thinly slice.
Meanwhile, make the dressing Combine the garlic and the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a small microwave-safe bowl; microwave until the garlic is softened, about 1 minute. Transfer the garlic and oil to a blender; add the 2 whole piquillo peppers and puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in the mayonnaise, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons cilantro; season with salt and pepper.
Divide the sliced chicken among the lettuce leaves; drizzle with the dressing. Top with the celery, almonds, the remaining sliced piquillo pepper and 1 tablespoon cilantro.
Photograph by Justin Walker
Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine