Monday, May 3, 2010

Chicken Greek-a-Tikka Salad with Parsley-Feta Pesto

This is my type of dinner--extremely flavorful and satisfying! My entire family loved it. Joshua commented that he was surprised how delicious it was--he wasn't too sure about how the green sauce was going to taste. Alyssa loved to hear me say the name of the dish--she made me say it so many times it became quite the tongue twister!

1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon grill seasoning (such as McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning)
2 to 2 ½ pounds white-meat chicken, cut into bite-size cubes
1 romaine lettuce heart, chopped or torn
2 vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped
½ English (seedless) cucumber, chopped
½ red onion, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
½ cup pitted kalamata olives
6 pepperoncini hot peppers, chopped (available jarred in the pickle section)
Juice of 1 lemon
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Parlsey-Feta Pesto
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ cup crumbled feta
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil (eyeball it)

Preheat a grill pan to high heat. Heat oven to 250°F (to keep chicken warm in between batches).

In a bowl, combine the yogurt, coriander, cumin, oregano, and the grill seasoning. Coat the chicken in the mixture, then thread the meat onto metal skewers. Brush the grill pan with oil and grill the meat for 5 to 6 minutes on each side. (Instead of skewers, I just cooked the meat in a large nonstick skillet in a couple of batches.)

Combine the chopped veggies, olives, and hot peppers on a large platter or in a serving bowl. Dress the salad very lightly in lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper.

Place all ingredients for the pesto in the food processor except the olive oil. Turn the processor on and stream in olive oil until all is incorporated and a smooth somewhat fluid sauce has formed.

Place the grilled meat on the salad and top liberally with the pesto, streaming it back and forth over the salad and the meat.

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