Warm Lentil & Chicken Salad
by Benjamin Maides, Chef, Au Courant Regional Kitchen, Omaha, Nebraska
- 1 cup lentils, soaked overnight
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 5 ounces thick-cut bacon (approximately 5 slices)
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 carrot, diced small
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 to 3 pounds boneless skinless Smart Chicken breasts
- 1 pound arugula
- ½ cup pickled red onion*
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- *Look for pickled red onions in the condiments aisle or online. To quick pickle red onions at home, combine ½ cup apple cider vinegar with 1 tablespoon sugar, 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, and 1 thinly sliced red onion. Let rest at room temperature for one hour.
To a pot over medium-high heat, add the oil and bacon. Allow the bacon fat to render for about 10 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and lentils and simmer over medium-low heat until the lentils are soft, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, season the chicken breasts generously with salt and pepper and grill, about 7 minutes per side, until internal temperature reaches 165°F. Set aside to rest.
In a mixing bowl, combine warm lentils, lemon juice, parsley, olive oil, arugula, and pickled red onions. Slice the chicken breasts and serve over lentils.