Fennel Salad and Perfect Grilled Chicken with Karen’s Lemon-Oregano Marinade
Packed with Zesty Flavor, Crunchy Texture – a Salad to Savor! A refreshing mix of Fennel, Vadalia Onions, Fresh Peaches, Local Cucumbers & Perfect Grilled Lemony Marinated Chicken
TODAY ~ Here are Two Recipes!
1. Karen’s Lemon-Oregano Marinade
2. Fennel Salad and Perfect Grilled Chicken (that has been marinated in the Lemon-Oregano Marinade)
Fennel has a sweet, mild licorice flavor and imparts a light, bright spring-like quality to foods.
For a zing of flavor, a few feathery fennel leaves – “fronds” are used as a garnish.
Ingredients for the Salad:
- Karen’s Lemon-Oregano Marinade for Grilled Chicken (see the marinade recipe)
- Thinly Sliced Fresh Fennel, fresh raw fennel is so refreshing!
- Thinly Sliced Sweet Vadalia Onion
- Thinly Sliced Fresh Peaches
- Thinly Sliced Local Cucumbers, I use green & white ones
- Marinated and Grilled Chicken (breasts or tenderloins) – in Karen’s Lemon-Oregano Marinade
- Garnishes: Fennel Fronds and Oregano & Basil Leaves (edible flowers too if available.)
How to Cut a Fennel Bulb:
- Place the flat side of the fennel against the cutting board, and cut away the green celery-like stalks and fronds (The stalk are edible and may be used too – the feathery fronds are a great garnish for the salad!)
- Slice 1/4 ‘ off the bottom of the bulb
- Standing it upright, slice the bulb in half lengthwise. With a sharp paring knife, carefully cut away the tough core
- Use a mandoline and add the fennel, flat side down and create thin slices. (Do so close to serving; or toss in a bit of lemon juice and refrigerate covered in an airtight container) See the mandoline I use below!
Make this first – Marinade the Chicken – Grill the Chicken, reserving the marinade – Heat the marinade, then cool – This is your Dressing for the Salad!
Marinades: What they are and how to use them:
A savory acidic sauce in which a food is soaked to enrich its flavor or to tenderize it. Marinades consists of a cooking oil, an acid (vinegar, lemon juice, wine), and spices. As the food stands in the mixture, the acid and the oil impart the savory flavors of the spices to the food. The acid also has a tenderizing action.
My Lemon-Oregano Marinade imparts flavor – will be tender & juicy! Marinate 2 hours is best; longer and the fibers of the chicken can be tough.
Fennel’s licorice crunch pairs nicely with a lemon-mustard-laced vinaigrette!
Enjoy… I LOVE this salad!
Tell me what you think!
The Mandoline I love – under $40.
The perfect size, simple to use!
Fennel Salad and Perfect Grilled Chicken with Karen's Lemon-Oregano Marinade
- 2 1/2 cups fresh fennel thinly sliced; I use a mandoline (one large bulb)
- 1 cup Sweet Vadalia Onion thinly sliced; I use a mandoline
- 1/2 cup Fresh Cucumbers thinly sliced; I use local ones, organic
- 1 medium fresh peach thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups grilled marinated chicken sliced: Use Karen's Lemon-Oregano Marinade & Technique (see recipe)
- 1/2 cup lemon-oregano dressing (from marinade) see notes
- 2 tablespoons fennel fronds (looks like dill!)
- 1 tablespoon mix of small basil leaves and fresh oregano leaves (optional)
- Make Karen's Lemon-Oregano Marinade. Marinate 2 chicken breasts or 6 chicken tenderloins for 2 hours. Remove and set aside marinade; grill chicken until done. When cool, slice chicken on the diagonal 1/2" thick. Gently reheat marinade - bring to a boil, then simmer - low heat, 2 minutes - THIS is your salad dressing! Cool. Set aside.
- To a large bowl or individual plates, add: thinly sliced fennel, sweet onions and cucumbers.
- Clean and dry the peach,; cut in half remove pit and slice thinly - add to the salad. Add the sliced chicken on top.
- Whisk the reserved dressing and drizzle all over the salad. Garnish with fennel fronds, basil & oregano. (Add edible flowers if you like.)
SEE: Karen's Lemon-Oregano Marinade before starting this recipe/ marinade and grill chicken. Lemon-Oregano Dressing for the salad is made from the marinade - simmered and cooled. This recipe may not be reproduced without the consent of its author, Karen Sheer.
Karen's Lemon-Oregano Marinade ~ with Perfect Grilled Chicken
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
- 2 medium garlic cloves peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons lemon rind from one large lemon (see note)
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 pinches chili flakes
- Add the olive oil to a small 8" pan. Add mustard seeds and raise heat to slow simmer. When you hear a "popping noise" and oil is bubbly - in about 1 1/2 minutes - that's the mustard seeds... stir up and remove from heat. Let cool 2 minutes.
- Add the garlic and lemon rind off heat, stir well. Let stand 2 minutes (not too hot), add the oregano leaves, salt & pepper, lemon juice and chili flakes. Stir all together.
How to Use the Marinade:
- Add the cooled marinade to 1 pound of boneless chicken breasts or chicken tenderloins. Do so in a glass container with a good lid - cover tightly and shake to distribute the marinade. (some like to use a plastic ziplock bag.)Place in the refrigerator for TWO HOURS - not more.
To Grill the Chicken:
- Remove the marinade from the chicken to a small skillet with a rubber spatula. (This will be a sauce for the chicken - or a dressing for a salad with the chicken.) Bring to a boil and simmer a minute or two, fights away any bacteria.
- Clean your grates, oil them and grill the chicken over LOW-MEDIUM heat... not higher. When strong grill marks are on the first side, turn over with tongs and cook second side until lightly golden, internal temperature - 165 degrees.
- Remove the chicken to a plate and pour ALL of the reserved simmered marinade over (now your sauce, or cooled dressing ), let cool. Then cut 1/2 " pieces on the diagonal and serve. Can serve the chicken over rice, or in my Fennel Salad and Perfect Grilled Chicken... delicious!