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Quinoa Salad with Roasted Chicken, Apricots, and Goat Cheese

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Chicken Apricots and Goat Cheese
Quinoa Salad with Roasted Chicken Apricots and Goat Cheese
This image courtesy of Theresa Raffetto

Quinoa is a nutritional powerhouse, full of nutrients, fiber, and protein. This is my favorite way to eat quinoa, and I make some variation on this salad every week (e.g., with sweet potatoes, cranberries, and pecans in fall, or roasted red peppers, raisins, and pine nuts in winter. It’s filling and flavorful and holds well if you want to make it a day or two in advance. I serve mine at room temperature or chilled.

Searing the chicken on the stovetop to brown it, then finishing it in the oven with a slower, gentler heat will keep the chicken moist and flavorful. Just make sure your saute pan is oven-safe.

Serves4

CostInexpensive

Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Recipe CourseMain Course

Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Gluten-free, Peanut Free, Soy Free

MealDinner, Lunch

Type of DishMain Course Salad, Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 pound (455 g) boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1½ cups (260 g) quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups (470 ml) water
  • ½ cup (65 g) dried apricots, chopped
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced 
  • ¾ cups (85 g) sliced almonds, toasted
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 m) extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups (220 g) mixed baby greens
  • 4 ounces (115 g) goat cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4).

  2. Heat an oven-safe saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil to the pan. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and sear in the olive oil for 3 to 4 minutes on one side, until golden. Flip over the chicken pieces, and then transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 5 to 6 minutes for chicken breast, or 7 to 8 minutes if you are using boneless skinless thighs. Remove from the oven and set aside.

  3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the rinsed quinoa and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then decrease the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the germ uncurls from the seed and the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl, and let it cool.

  4. Thinly slice the chicken and add it to the bowl with the quinoa. Add the apricots, scallions, almonds, and garlic to the bowl.

  5. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the honey, Dnon, and vinegar. Continuing to whisk, slowly drizzle in the extra-virgin olive oil to make a vinaigrette. Add the vinaigrette to the quinoa, season the salad with salt and pepper, and toss to combine.

  6. Place 1 cup (55 g) of the mixed greens on each of 4 plates, divide the quinoa salad evenly among the plates, and top with 1 ounce (28 g) of the crumbled goat cheese.

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