Chicken Salad with Roasted Bell Peppers in Avocado Cups
4 skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds total)
4 bay leaves
1 quart organic low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth (or half of each, which I did here)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup unsalted, roasted almonds, finely chopped
1/2 large red onion, diced
1/2 a bunch asparagus, roasted and diced into small pieces**
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
2 roasted bell peppers (red or yellow peppers), skin removed and diced (recipe below)*
salt and pepper to taste
Mustard Herb Dressing:
1/3 cup fresh parsley, tightly packed
1/3 cup fresh basil, tightly packed
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon gluten-free Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
fresh ground pepper to taste
*To Roast Bell Peppers:
Preheat oven to 45o degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with coconut oil, set aside. Cut the peppers in half and clean out the seeds and innards. Place them on a baking sheet skin side up. Bake peppers for 15 to 20 minutes. Once the skins are brownish-black, remove from the oven and immediately place the peppers in a large ziploc bag. Close and let sit for 20 minutes or so (or until the peppers have time to cool and “sweat”). Once they have cooled you will be able to peel the skins right off. What you will have left is a moist, wonderfully cooked pepper. Yummy!
**To roast asparagus, toss asaragus in a little olive oil and season with a little salt and pepper. Roast in the 450 degree oven for 5-10 minutes, depending on size of asparagus, while bell peppers roast. Remove and allow to cool before cutting into small pieces.
For Chicken Salad:
Put the bay leaves and the chicken broth in a large pot with a lid and bring stock to a simmer. Add the chicken breasts to the pot. Return the broth to a simmer. Cover the pot. Turn off the heat. Let the chicken steep in the stock for 30 minutes to an hour.
While the chicken is cooking, chop the other ingredients – garlic, almonds, onion, asparagus, basil, parsley, roasted bell peppers – and add to a large bowl. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
When the chicken breasts are cooked, remove them from the broth and let them cool. When they are cool enough to handle, shred the chicken breasts into bite-size pieces by hand. Mix the chicken pieces in with the rest of the ingredients.
To Make Dressing:
In the bowl of a food processor combine parsley, basil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, garlic, and salt. While food processor is running slowly add olive oil in a small drizzle. You may have to stop the food processor to scrape the sides. You want the mixture to come to a liquid consistency. Add fresh ground pepper to taste.
Add dressing to chicken salad and toss to combine.
Serve chilled or at room temperature. Or inside a halved avocado. Take an avocado, remove pit, and place chicken salad in the inside.
Makes about 6 to 8 servings of salad