Chicken and Citrus Salad

citrus slices
It’s winter (although temperatures are not at all wintery here in So-Cal), which means tons of great citrus fruit. In addition to my overflowing lemon tree, there are tangerines, grapefruits, and lots of interesting oranges coming into the market. Over the holidays I studded a goodly amount of pomanders (old-timey air fresheners made by sticking cloves into an orange), so I am a little sick of citrus. However, it is also the time of year when I need to lighten up and work out, which means I am turning to recipes like this one, with low calories and high protein.

It’s running season here too, with the LA Marathon quickly approaching. For those of you with miles piling up, you’ll find this dish particular refreshing and recuperative. I am not running this year, as I fear my knees will not survive (suck-it, Old Age), but I am still running regularly, albeit with a greatly reduced mileage.

You can enjoy this dish even if you’re not a crazy runner, and even if you’re not confronted with an abundance of citrus. It tastes great with simple oranges, or you can add a variety of other fruits to pump up the flavor and color like berries, pomegranate seeds, pineapple, mango … use your imagination!

INGREDIENTS

Juice and zest of 1 lime (about 1 TB. juice)
Juice and zest of 1 lemon (about 2 TB. juice)
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
1 cup green onions, chopped
1 TB. poppy seeds
1 TB. honey
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
3 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded
2 sweet oranges, peeled, and sliced in supremes
3 mandarins or tangerines, peeled, and sliced in supremes
1 ruby red grapefruit, peeled, and sliced in supremes
2 blood oranges, peeled, and sliced in supremes

METHOD

In a large bowl mix together juice and zest of lime, juice and zest of lemon, mint, onions, poppy seeds, honey, salt and pepper. Drizzle in oil while whisking. Add chicken, oranges, mandarins, grapefruit and blood oranges, and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour to allow flavors to mingle. Serve chilled or warm through and serve over quinoa or brown rice. Mmmmm … healthy-licious!

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