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Mediterranean Chicken Salad

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse
Food Network Show: The Essence of Emeril

Total Time: 1 hr 45 min
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 1 hr 30 min
Yield: 4 entree salads
Level: Easy

1/2 cup dry white wine
1 slice yellow onion
1 slice lemon
1 bay leaf
6 black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
(about 3 halves)
1 (10 to 12-ounce) medium eggplant, ends
trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch rounds
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 ounces plum tomatoes, ends trimmed
and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped pitted brine-cured olives,
such as kalamata
3 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 large Bibb or romaine lettuce leaves
1 tablespoon chiffonade fresh basil, for garnish

In a medium skillet, combine the wine, onion, lemon, bay leaf, pepper-
corns, salt, and enough water to cover the chicken by 1/2-inch and bring
to a boil for 2 minutes. Add the chicken, cover, reduce the heat, and
simmer until the chicken is no longer pink and just cooked through, about
10 to 15 minutes, depending upon the size of the chicken. Remove from
the heat, uncover, and let the chicken cool in the liquid for 30 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate, cover, and refrigerate until well chilled,
about 2 hours, or refrigerate overnight. Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes
and set aside.
Preheat the grill to medium-high.
Place the eggplant slices on a large plate and lightly brush on both sides
with olive oil, and then season with salt and pepper. Grill until just golden
and slightly soft, about 2 minutes on each side. (Alternatively, the eggplant
can be broiled, 1 to 2 minutes per side, carefully watching so that it does
not burn.) Place the eggplant on a cutting board to cool, and then dice.
In a large bowl, combine the diced chicken, eggplant, tomatoes, cheese, olives, and pine nuts.
In a small bowl, whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, vinegar,
oregano, mint, salt, red pepper, and black pepper. Pour the dressing over
the chicken mixture and toss to lightly coat.
Arrange lettuce leaves in the center of 4 large plates and divide the salad among the leaves. Serve immediately.


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