This is not a chicken salad recipe in the mayo salad way, I will get mine up for that later, sorry to disappoint. This is a Baked Chicken on Salad meal-type recipe. We have been spending the first week of summer break mostly at the pool (or sleeping off the pool) around here, so cooking (and blogging *shame face*) have takin’ a backseat. Maybe they have even been riding in the trunk? Anyways, we have been eating, but as I mentioned in Summer is Salad Season, it’s been salads most every day. This chicken one is great, because it’s super good for you, you can make it ahead of time and eat off of it for days. (Another excellent summer move, no one should cook at noon when it’s 95+ degrees outside, but we still gotta eat!) Also, with 2 kids at home alone while I’m at work and BoyChild II is at day camp I need to leave enough food for them to get through the day and there be enough for supper as well. (Restless, hungry natives turn on each other fast!) You can make however much of this chicken at a time as you want, it’s good cold (like in this recipe), and reheats well (think on a whole wheat bun with lettuce and tomato, or sliced and wrapped in a tortilla with salsa and cheese), it is just very versatile make ahead chicken.
To Prepare Chicken: (Cook this at night, after the sun goes down, or early in the morning to avoid over heating your kitchen)
Preheat oven to 475° F
Spray 9×13 glass baking pan with cooking spray (very lightly, this stuff will spread as it heats)
Place in pan (1 deep) as many as you want to prepare from a 5lb bag boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Turn each breast with a metal fork (then wash the fork-Do Not reuse) then repeat seasoning on this side
Place pan in oven. Close oven door, then reduce heat to 350°F. Bake for 25 min.
Turn off heat, removed pan from oven. Chicken will be cooked through, but not browned or dry. Place pan on counter to cool.
Portion out Base Salad into bowls.
Top with shredded cheddar and grape tomatoes.
Dice about 2/3 to 1/2 breast (depending on size of breast & person eating) per salad.
Top with diced chicken.
Add dressing. (We usually add ranch, but any creamy dressing can work with this, try Chipotle Ranch!-Mmm)
When completely cooled chicken should be stored in fridge, try not to dice more than needed, as diced chicken will dry out in a Tupperware faster than a whole breast will.
See? That was just silly-easy, huh? And now you can use this already baked chicken for a million different things, without turning on that oven again!