When I first moved to Knoxville, I was excited to try all the new restaurants! Since I am a bit of a foodie, I wanted to try Central Flats and Taps, one of the highest rated restaurants in Knoxville and a place my friends raved about. So on date night my hubby and I tried it out. Dan fell in love with their spicy hot wings and I swooned over their Grilled Chicken and Artichoke Salad (they call it the Spicy Chicken Salad). It was so simple and fresh I was pretty sure I could recreate it at home and save some moo-lah.
I was right! I was able to make this scrumptious salad and the chicken to go with it in under 30 minutes and for a fraction of the cost. Though I love date night and having someone else wash the dishes, I was excited to make something at home that tasted so “restaurant quality.” Let me show you how I made it:
This is super simple: just lettuce and cucumber. I used a bag of spring mix and then diced a cucumber with the skin still on. Later on you’ll need a can of drained artichokes and some roasted red peppers. I bought them in a jar from Mezzetta’s.
This step is also really easy: 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts put into a ziplock bag and smothered in Italian dressing. Use as much dressing as you like. I think I used about 3/4 cup to 1 cup. I let it marinade for about 10-15 minutes but you could leave it for up to an hour.
Heat up your skillet with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and then grill the chicken. I used my cast iron skillet since it is well seasoned, but you could easily use a large saute pan, grill pan, or outdoor BBQ. Cook the chicken for about 5-7 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
Remove the chicken and let it rest a few minutes while you prepare the rest of the salad. When you’re done, cut it into slivers.
For each plate I took a generous portion of greens and topped it with roasted red bell peppers and artichokes. Then I sprinkled on feta cheese. Blue cheese also tastes wonderful on this grilled chicken and artichoke salad.
The standard ratio for a vinaigrette dressing is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. You can dress it up with fancy ingredients like grainy mustard, shallots, or your favorite herbs. But I like my balsamic vinaigrette simple. I whisked up 3 Tablespoons of olive oil, 1 Tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper (maybe a 1/8 tsp of each). Bada bing, bada boom..DONE! Whisk it up and pour a little over your grilled chicken and artichoke salad.
If you want to make a large batch of this dressing and keep it in the fridge for salads throughout the week, try this proportion and shake it in a mason jar:
3/4 cup olive oil + 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar + 1/2 tsp Kosher salt + 1/2 tsp ground pepper + optional add-ins = SUPER YUMMY BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE!
Optional add-ins could be minced garlic, herbs (such as oregano or basil), shallots, honey, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, etc.
And there you have it! A beautiful, healthy, and restaurant quality grilled chicken and artichoke salad in 30 minutes! My family and I enjoyed the salads with Copycat Starbucks Black Tea Lemonade and M&M Peanut Butter Bars for dessert.
I think this salad would also be great to serve to a large dinner party or at a backyard BBQ. Toss it last minute with the balsamic dressing so it doesn’t get soggy. Is this a salad you think you’ll try? Leave me a comment below and let me know! Happy cooking y’all!
- 1 bag spring mix
- 1 cucumber diced
- 15 oz can artichokes, drained and chopped
- 15 oz jar roasted red peppers, drained
- 6 oz crumbled feta or blue cheese
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup Italian dressing
- For the vinaigrette:
- ¾ cup olive oil + 2 Tbsp for grilling chicken
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp Kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- Marinate chicken in Italian dressing for atleast 10 minutes.
- Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in skillet and grill chicken breasts 5-7 minutes each side or until done.
- Remove chicken from heat and let rest. Slice in slivers for salads.
- Assemble salads with greens, artichokes, red peppers, chicken, and cheese.
- Pour vinaigrette ingredients into mason jar or cup with lid and shake.
- Pour desired amount of dressing on each salad and refrigerate the rest.