It seems counter-intuitive to me that citrus fruits are in season during the wintertime, but I’m certainly not complaining. I’ve been taking advantage of FreshDirect’s seasonal deals on citrus the past few weeks, ordering a crate of clementines, a few limes (one of which I used with the Chili with Chicken and Chipotles, and a beautiful pack of Meyer lemons.
And even though it’s freezing here in the Northeast and many people’s first instinct is to go for the heavy comfort food, I sometimes still crave the lightness of a fresh salad. Perhaps it’s a way to make amends for all of the overindulgence of the holiday season… my body’s probably happy for the break!
This is another one of those recipes I made up, this time on the way to the Light Rail this morning. It’s laced with the tangy flavors of lemons, limes, and even clementines, with a nice kick from a minced jalapeno and some fresh cilantro. Chicken marinated in the same mixture used to make the dressing adds protein and make this a truly satisfying meal!
Firecracker Citrus Salad with Chicken
- 1 clementine
- 1 lemon
- 1 lime
- 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- 2 tbsp jalapeno pepper, minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 bag arugula
- 1/2 cup carrots, sliced
- 1/2 cup celery, sliced
- Using a zester or fine-grade cheese grater, add the zest of the clementine, lemon and lime into the bowl of a mini-chopper.
- Juice clementine, lemon, and lime into the bowl with the zests. Add the cilantro and jalapeno pepper.
- Add the oil and blend the mixture until smooth.
- Take half of the mixture and pour into a ziploc bag with the chicken. Place in the refrigerator for at least a half-hour. Store remaining dressing in a container in the fridge also until ready to use for the salad.
- When chicken is ready to be cooked, remove from plastic bag and shake off any excess dressing. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes, until golden brown.
- While chicken is cooking, assemble arugula, carrots, and celery in a large bowl.
- After chicken is cooked, let sit for 4-6 minutes and then slice into medallions or chop into cubes, depending on your preference. Shake up salad dressing, and drizzle over the salad. Place chicken over the salad or serve on the side.
I personally love how the peppery taste of the arugula plays off the citrus-y heat of the dressing- but any greens will do here! Also, feel free to adjust the jalapeno pepper to your liking/tolerance for heat.