Chicken Tender Salad with Buttermilk Chive Dressing

As with anything worth having, it takes time to make a great chicken tender salad. This salad isn’t a throw it together and chow down salad. The chicken needs time to marinate in the buttermilk. The salad needs time to chill. Oh but this is so delicious, you really don’t mind the wait.

This year I’ve managed to grow a nice herb garden in clay pots on our patio table. The herbs make for a lovely arrangement and it’s exhilarating to walk outside, snip fresh herbs and get creative in the kitchen. I loved this recipe because it used a nice helping of both chives and parsley. The original recipe called for lemon zest in the salad. While I love lemon zest same as the next guy, I thought I’d try something a little different. I’m growing Lemon Thyme. It smells just like fresh lemons, so why not? Wow, where has Lemon Thyme been all of my life?

06-02 Herb Garden (1)

I’ve mentioned this before, there are times when my guys just don’t get me. This awesome salad was one of those moments. They ate the salad and the chicken tenders, just not together. To each their own.

Chicken Tender Salad with Buttermilk Chive Dressing (2)

Chicken Tender Salad with Buttermilk Chive Dressing
The Chicken Tenders
2 or 3 Chicken Breasts, boneless
1 cup Buttermilk
1 cup Flour
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
Kosher Salt to taste
Fresh Cracked Pepper to taste
Olive Oil as needed
3 Lemons, juice only

To Make the Chicken
Slice boneless breasts into chicken tenders about 1 1/2 inches long, maybe 1/2 inch wide. Set aside.

Pour half of the buttermilk into a baking dish that will hold the tenders. Add chicken, pour remaining buttermilk on top and toss chicken to coat completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

While the chicken tenders are marinating, go ahead and make the salad dressing. Shortly before cooking the chicken, make the salad. This will allow the dressing flavors to fully blossom. Having the salad ready just makes everything come together nicely.

When ready to cook the tenders, combine flour, cheese, salt and pepper in a shallow dish or pie pan.

Remove chicken tenders from the buttermilk. Allow excess buttermilk to drip back into the dish. Dredge chicken, one piece at a time, in the flour mixture. Place on a wire rack over a baking sheet. Once all the chicken has been dredges, let rest for about 15 minutes for the flour to stick well.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan about 1/4 inch. When the oil is hot but not yet smoking, sauté the tenders in the pan in batches. Squeeze the juice of one lemon directly around the edge of the pan for each batch of breasts. Swirl and cook tenders for about 3 minutes per side, until golden and cooked through. Place cooked tenders on a platter and hold in a warm oven while repeating with remaining batches.

Once the last of the chicken is cooked, spread a bed of salad on chilled salad plates. Immediately plate a few tenders over each salad bed. Drizzle with buttermilk dressing and garnish with lemon thyme.

The Buttermilk Chive Dressing
2 Garlic Cloves
2 tablespoons fresh Parsley
1/2 cup Buttermilk
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 Lemon, juiced
Kosher Salt to taste
Fresh Cracked Pepper to taste
1/8 cup Chives, snipped

To Make the Dressing
Peel garlic and place in the bowl of a small food processor fitted with a blade. Add parsley and process until finely minced.

Place garlic mixture into a small bowl.

Add the buttermilk, sour cream, mayonnaise and lemon juice.

Snip chives over the dressing. Gently fold everything together until well blended.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

The Romaine Salad
1 head Romaine Lettuce
3 Roma Tomatoes
1/4 Red Onion
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
Lemon Thyme, as desired

To Make the Salad
Tear Romaine lettuce into bite-size pieces. Place in a large bowl.

Chop tomatoes, scatter over lettuce. Cut a quarter of a red onion into slivers. Scatter over the lettuce and tomatoes. Grate Parmesan Cheese over the salad. Toss well.

Cover and chill until ready to add chicken.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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