WHY have I waited this long to make a chicken salad in the Philippines? Sometimes I’m really late to the game. And sometimes is like, all the time.
This salad is my life right now. The textures, the flavors, and the perfect amount of light, sweet honey lemon vinaigrette…
One thing that we struggle with here in the Philippines is cooking. Hot, heated, high temperature cooking. Our oven has a flame in it. A real live fire. IT’S HOT. Plus it’s already one bajillion degrees and one hundred and fifty percent humid all day everyday, so that’s fun.
To add to the drama, we are a microwaveless family (do two people count as a family?), which I really want to enjoy, except that not having a quick way to heat up food usually sets off a chain of events, starting with turning the oven on –> extreme hotnesss –> grouchy-ness –> hair issues –> resorting to cold cereal and milk. The good news in all this is that they have some really yummy cereals at our little Rustan’s grocery store down the road (hi, tropical fruit granola with huge clusters of coconut) and the other good news is that I love cereal. Period.
But cereal cuts a deep wound when I find out that Bjork has been ignoring the delicious man-food that I left in the fridge in little individual containers for his lunches and choosing cereal for lunch instead. What? Individual containers of squash soup with walnuts and apple aren’t man-foody? Whatever.
This is our real life. With a fridge full of food, he eats tropical fruit grocery store granola just to avoid the heat of the kitchen. Hmmph.
Then we get into this horrible, old-married-people cycle where I come home from work and interrogate him about what he ate for lunch and be annoyed that he had a bowl of cereal instead of my individually packaged squash soup with a separate container of walnut and apple toppings. We are those people. Ok, I am that person.
Oh my gosh, you guys. WHY did I wait this long?
I made this salad and the old-married-people cycle of “what did you eat for lunch” was immediately broken. We both loved it. He made his into a wrap, and then a sandwich, and then two more wraps with extra cheese. I ate mine in a big bowl as a salad. With extra cheese. And by the way, finding feta cheese in the Philippines is like finding pure gold. It’s been a happy week in this house.
If you have access to fresh, clean, crispy greens like baby spinach, toss a handful of it in there, too, will ya? Trust me – it will be delicious. It reminds me of this salad. I miss spinach. <– File that under things you’ll only say once in your life.
The salad? It was cold. It was refreshing. It was chewy and crunchy and sweet. It was filling and it was man-food. Er, at least, as much as feta and honey lemon and grapes in a salad can be man-food. Yeah? Yeah. The best part: it can be kept in the fridge in individual containers for easy eating – NO REHEATING REQUIRED. Saves time, saves sweat, saves … us.
This salad is pretty and delicious and I love it.
- 1 lb chicken breast
- 1 bunch grapes (about 2-3 cups), cut in half
- 1 cup uncooked wheat berries
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey (I use Ames Farm Honey)
- ¼ cup homemade or storebought lemon dressing (I used Brianna’s brand)
- ½ tablespoon vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- feta cheese and green onions for topping
- Bring 2 large pots of water to boil. To one pot, add the raw chicken breasts. Cover and cook for about 20-30 minutes. To the other pot, add wheat berries and cook, uncovered, for about 20-30 minutes.
- While chicken is cooking, chop the grapes in half. Slice a few green onions for topping. Whisk together the olive oil, honey, dressing, vinegar, and water. Keep grapes, green onions, and dressing in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.
- Remove chicken from heat and check for doneness (white color throughout). Drain water and allow to cool for several minutes. When cool enough to handle, shred chicken with two forks or your hands. Season shredded chicken with salt and pepper.
- Remove wheat berries from heat and check for doneness (chewy texture). If they’re still too crunchy for you, continue to cook for another 10 minutes, adding water as needed. Drain off all excess water when done cooking. Season with salt and pepper.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Top with feta cheese, green onions, and almonds. Refrigerate for up to 4 days.
We are celebrating by buying a microwave. Just kidding. But actually, maybe we should get one. I dunno. Thoughts?
For now, honey lemon chicken salad with feta is on the menu alllll week and life is good. Life. Is. Good.