The Best Chicken Soup

INGREDIENTS:

5 lbs bone-in chicken breasts

8 cans chicken broth

1 onion, chopped and divided

3 ribs celery, divided

4 carrots, divided

1 TBSP garlic, chopped

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

½ tsp poultry seasoning

2 tsp parsley

½ tsp tarragon

1 whole clove (Flavors the broth tremendously.  Don’t forget to remove it before serving.  It will float)

1 bay leaf  (Remove before serving.  It will float, so will be easy to find.

PREPARATION:

     Rip that fatty skin right off the chicken and discard. (It makes the soup greasy).  In an 8 quart saucepan, simmer chicken for two hours with ½ of a chopped onion, 1 carrot and 1 rib of celery which you’re going to break into three or four pieces.  Cover the pan, but leave cover askew.  You want the broth to cook down.

     Remove chicken from pan.  I always tear the bones off and throw them back in the pot while I’m peeling and chopping vegetables.  Put chicken in the fridge. Before adding carrots, celery, garlic and reserved onion to the pan, strain the broth to remove the bones and vegetables.  

      To strain the broth, use a large pan or bowl to catch the broth.  Line the bottom of a colander with cheesecloth. (In a pinch you can use a new Wet Wipe and/or some paper toweling.  I’m such a fraidy cat about chemicals, so if I have to use a Wet Wipe, I wash it in dish water and rinse it well before I strain my broth).  Slowly pour the broth over the cheesecloth and it will filter out any small pieces of fat, bones, cooked vegetables, etc.  Let it drain well so you don’t lose a drop of that liquid gold.

     Now it’s time to add 2 ribs of celery, and 3 carrots, which you will chop, dice, or roll cut.  I always do a diagonal cut because I think it’s pretty.  Starting at the tapered end of the carrot or celery, make a diagonal cut with a sharp knife.  Turn the carrot a quarter of a turn and cut again, moving up the carrot as you go.  This cut gives you a pretty uniform size.  Simmer for another hour with cover askew.  Add some of the chicken to the pan.  This recipe makes a lot and I use the extra chicken for other meals.  i.e. chicken pot pie, chicken and biscuits, chicken chimichangas, chicken burritos, chicken and dumplings, Buffalo chicken dip, etc. About fifteen minutes before serving, add the seasonings.

     You will note that I have not added any noodles to the recipe ingredients, although there is ditalini in the photo.  Here’s why.  Noodles do NOT hold up after they’ve been cooked and frozen.  Since we normally don’t eat this as a meal, (the main reason I make my soup is for when people are feeling sicky).  I always have containers of it in the freezer and everyone knows it.  This is why they all want the recipe since I’m not in NY any more to give them what I’ve made.  Ha ha.  OK, so you have a few choices.  Add rice and let it simmer in the soup.  Rice freezes great.  Or add your noodles when you’re heating up the soup.  If you add a sturdier pasta such as ditalini or farfalle, and you won’t have the problem.

     At this point you can eat some soup and freeze the rest, or save some of the broth, and leftover chicken to make other meals. (Which I most always do.  It saves a lot of work later and you know how we love our Westover’s Leftovers).

      Feel free to add a can of tomatoes or some fresh tomatoes if you want to.

Why this soup is so good:

     Starting out with chicken broth instead of water gives instant flavor and you’ll end up with a fabulously flavorful soup. 

     Using bone-in chicken enriches the broth even more and is incredibly healthy.

     Adding a little poultry seasoning, 1 whole clove, 1 bay leaf, and tarragon gives the soup another layer of flavor.  Remove the clove and bay leaf before serving.  They’ll be easy to find because they’ll float.

     If you’re making this for sickies, freeze small batches in quart freezer bags.  You know when you’re sick you don’t want a lot of solids, so don’t put too much chicken or vegetables in it.  The broth is the ticket. If you’re freezing containers for future meals, load it up with chicken and vegetables.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Asian Pork and Noodles, a Westover Leftover

Asian Pork and Noodles, a Westover Leftover

     My newest Westover Leftover was quite a challenge. We had been out most of the day and didn’t plan anything for dinner.  I had a teeny little piece of Pork Tenderloin in the refrigerator.  It was probably enough to make one sandwich.  I wanted to do something with it, but I wasn’t sure what, and I had 3 adults to feed.  After pawing around, I saw Broccoli in the Vegetable drawer, I suddenly started yanking things out.  You might have been injured if you stood in my way.  I had Sake, Teriyaki Sauce, the Broccoli, Carrots, Onions, a package of Mushrooms, and plenty of Garlic.  No Snow Peas, but not a problem.  I’d use frozen peas.  (I ended up forgetting them and was mad!)

     Nothing was measured.  I sort of eye-balled everything, so know that the Ingredients listed below are not etched in stone, and are a guideline to get you started.  Change it out however you wish! Hate Broccoli?  No problem.  Add Bean Sprouts instead.  If you love Water Chestnuts, throw some in.  No Sake in the house?  Use White Wine.

     Ugh.  I cooked too many Noodles.  Now I have leftover Noodles.  Ha ha

INGREDIENTS:  YIELDS 3 – 4 SERVINGS

Leftover Pork (I used about ¼ of a Pork Tenderloin, but any leftover Pork will be fine)

1 Carrot, diced, Julienned, or shredded

1 cup or so fresh Broccoli, cut into pieces

2 mini Sweet Peppers, sliced

One 8 oz package Mushrooms (Sliced or quartered)

1 Onion, sliced lengthwise

1 cup Snow Peas (or Sweet Peas, Fresh or frozen)

¾ of a can of chicken broth +/-

¼ cup Sake +/-

¼ cup Teriyaki Sauce

¼ cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce

1 TBSP Corn Starch

Seasonings:  Black Pepper, a few dashes of Five Spice Powder, a few dashes of Ginger Powder

OPTIONAL:  Top with Sesame seeds

PREPARATION:

     Preheat a large skillet, and drizzle some Olive Oil in the bottom.  Add the Vegetables that will take the longest to cook.  I started with Broccoli and diced Carrot.  Sauté for a few minutes, and add the Mushrooms and mini Sweet Peppers.  I drizzled with a bit of Soy Sauce.  Continue cooking, adding the faster cooking Veggies as you go.  The Peas and Onion get added next.  Garlic goes last.  You can start adding Soy, Teriyaki Sauce, and Sake a tablespoon or so at a time.  The same with the Seasonings.  They can be added any time.  Do NOT over do on the Five Spice Powder or Ginger Powder because they can both be overpowering.  Add more at the end after tasting, if you wish.

     When the Veggies are cooked, push them to the side of the pan.  Add your diced or shredded Pork.  I added another few tsp each of Sake, Teriyaki Sauce and Soy Sauce.  Cook until just heated through.  Push to the side.

     I’m sure you recall that if I have leftover chicken or beef broth, I pour it into a baggie and stick it in the freezer for times like this.  I think I had somewhere between ½ and ¾ of a can of chicken broth that I pulled out.  I didn’t even thaw it.  You’ll see in the pictures.  I did allow a teeny bit of it to thaw before I added a bit of Corn Starch.  I stirred just that side of the pan until the Corn Starch was dissolved.  I brought it to a simmer, and then mixed the everything together.  Now you can give it a taste and check the Seasonings.

     Serve over cooked rice or any kind of noodles.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

A sad little piece of pork

Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken

     Chicken, Lime, Tequila, and the perfect blend of seasonings yields moist, tender and flavorful chicken.   If you go out to dinner, you’ll pay a lot for a Mexican dinner like this.  You can serve your family the same meal at home pay way less and have a tastier homemade meal.  We love Mexican food and this meal did NOT disappoint.  The Mexican Style Beans and Rice complimented the chicken, the lime flavor was wonderful, and it was a nice change from lemon. To view the Mexican Style Beans and Rice, go to: https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/chewwannaeat.wordpress.com/5892

     You could slice the chicken and pile it on a Taco Shell, Flatbread, or a Salad if you’d rather.  It would be great stuffed in an Enchilada or Burrito.  Top with the Rice or serve it on the side for a complete Mexican dinner your family is sure to love.

INGREDIENTS:

2 – 2 ½ lbs boneless chicken

1/3 cup Tequila

1/4 cup Orange Juice

1/3 cup Lime Juice

2 TBSP Lime Zest

3 TBSP Olive Oil

1 Jalapeno Pepper, chopped

5 – 7 Cloves Garlic, Minced

¼ tsp Cumin

½ – 1 tsp Sriracha Chili Powder

Salt and Pepper

PREPARATION:

      In a large bowl, combine all Ingredients except Chicken.  Whisk until combined.  Butterfly chicken, pierce with the tines of a fork and add to bowl with Marinade.  Cover and refrigerate a minimum of two hours.  I like to leave it overnight.

     Cook as desired.  Grilled, Baked, or Pan Fried.

Recipe Notes: Make sure you use an oven-safe skillet or pan before baking the chicken in the oven. You may also grill the chicken. For the chicken, you can use boneless and skinless chicken breast/chicken thighs or bone-in chicken thighs.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Crab Alfredo over Pasta

CRAB ALFREDO OVER PASTA

Creamy, Cheesy, and on the table in about 15 minutes.

INGREDIENTS: Yields 3 servings

Drizzle Olive Oil

6 TBSP Butter

6 Garlic Cloves, chopped or minced

2 oz Cream Cheese

1 cup Half and Half

One 8 oz bottle Clam Juice

1/3 cup White Wine

2 TBSP AP Flour

½ -3/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated

Dash each of Nutmeg, Chipotle Chili Powder or Red Pepper, White Pepper, Basil


One 1 lb can of Crab Meat

One 6 oz can of Crab Meat

Optional: Broccoli, Peas, Asparagus, Mushrooms


PREPARATION:
Drizzle a bit of Olive Oil in a large skillet. Add the Butter. Once the Butter is melted, add the Garlic and cook for 2 minutes being careful not to burn it.


Add Cream Cheese. Break it up and allow it to melt. Add Half and Half, Clam Juice, White Wine, and Flour. Bring to a simmer and stir until slightly thickened.


Slowly add the Parmesan Cheese while stirring constantly. Add Seasonings and taste. If it isn’t thick enough, add a little more Cheese.


Add Crab Meat last and heat through.


Serve over your favorite Pasta and garnish with additional grated Parmesan.


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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Homemade Pierogi


Whether you have family from Poland, the Ukraine, Romania or even good ole’ America, chances are you’ve had Pierogi. They are out of this world delicious. They are a bit of work, ok, maybe a lot of work . . . but they are so worth it. People were eating them cold right out of the refrigerator here. They were undeniably scrumptious.


My favorite was the Potato with Cheese, Bacon, and Caramelized Onion. Bob preferred the Potato, Sauerkraut, and Diced Onion. I also made Sweet Potato with Bacon, but neither of us were crazy about them.


If you’d like to read Pierogi history, go to: http://www.polskafoods.com/polish-food/facts-history-about-pierogihttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierogi
I’m sure every family that ate Pierogi had their own recipe. I was never introduced to them until I was an adult. Man, oh man. All those years wasted!

Here’s my recipe.

FILLING INGREDIENTS:

4 large Russet potatoes

2 TBSP butter

3/4 cup cubed or grated cheese (I use a mixture of Colby, Monterey Jack, Sharp Cheddar, and Cooper). 

¼ + milk

Salt, Pepper, Onion Powder and Garlic Powder (about 1/2 tsp each)

OPTIONAL:  Sauerkraut, Diced Raw Onion, Crumbled Bacon, Green Onions

DOUGH INGREDIENTS: Yields 40-50 pierogis, depending on size
6 cups AP flour1 extra large egg¾ tsp saltPepper to taste1 ½ – 1 ¾ cups potato water1 egg yolk to seal doughOPTIONAL: Seasonings such as onion powder, garlic powder, parsley
DOUGH PREPARATION AND ASSEMBLY:
In food processor, add flour, egg, salt, and quickly pulse to incorporate. If you want to add seasonings, do it now. Add room temperature potato water in three batches and mix until dough forms. It will only take about 1 minute.
Grab a hunk of dough and squeeze it. It shouldn’t be wet, nor should it be crumbly. Give it a quick knead. It should be the consistency of Play Dough. No need to flour your work surface. It doesn’t stick. Roll it out until very thin. It is so easy to work with. Cut with a glass, biscuit cutter, or a press. They should be approximately 3 ½ “rounds. Fill with a good TBSP of potato, whatever extras you’re adding on top, and fold over. Smear a little beaten egg onto only one side of the dough along the edge. Press to seal. Any scraps of dough should be added back into the bowl.
Lay completed Pierogis on a clean dish towel and cover with another towel. This will keep the dough from drying out. A dish towel is the standard. However, this time I used Parchment Paper. If the objective is to keep them from drying out, won’t a cotton cloth remove some of their moisture? Parchment Paper worked wonderfully for me.

TO COOK PIEROGIS:
Drop one at a time into a large pan of salted boiling water. I would cook only 6 at one time. They will sink like a stone, but that’s ok. After about one minute, lightly push a spatula under them to make sure they aren’t stuck to the bottom of pan. It doesn’t happen often, but it is possible. In 3-4 minutes they will rise to the top. They should be fully cooked and ready to eat with butter and sautéed onions.
TO FRY COOKED PIEROGIS:
I prefer mine browned in a little bacon grease, but you could also use olive oil or butter (or a little of both). If you’re using onions, garlic, peppers, mushrooms, etc. add them now. Don’t crowd the pan. Cook until browned on one side, flip over and brown the other side.
Serve with Sour Cream, Blue Cheese or Ranch Dressing.
Pictured below is the dough press I used. A set of 3 is available for around $4.00. I may invest in the press that makes 6 at once. I think it might be a time-saver. These presses can be used for hand pies, calzone, ravioli, empanadas, and all sorts of other fun projects.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Oven Baked Cod

Oven Baked Cod and Creamy Au’ Gratin Potatoes

Baked Cod Pictured with Creamy Au’ Gratin Potatoes

     Pictured is my newest Potato recipe for Creamy Au’ Gratin Potatoes, as well as Oven Baked Cod.  Normally I bread and fry or air fry my fish, but I decided to be more waistline friendly and bake it for a change.  It was so good! 

INGREDIENTS: 2 Servings

1 lb Cod Fillets

1 TBSP Butter

Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Paprika, Black Pepper

PREPARATION:

     In a small baking dish, smear half the Butter on the bottom of the dish.  Place Fillets in dish.  Squirt as much Lemon Juice as you want on top of the fish.  Either spread the remaining Butter on the Fillets or cut it in small pieces and lay it on top.  Sprinkle with Seasonings and bake at 400 ° F for 15 – 20 minutes, depending on how thick the Fillets are.  Twist a fork in the center of the Fillets and if they separate and flake, they’re done.

     Of course, serve with my newest Au’ Gratin Potatoes and the Vegetable of your choice.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Creamy Au’ Gratin Potatoes

Creamy Au’ Gratin Potatoes by Chew Wanna Eat?

     Thinly sliced Potatoes in a smooth and creamy Cheese Sauce.  What could be better?  Serve them with Fish, Meatloaf, Poultry, Pork, Scrambled Eggs or just about anything else.  Comfort food at its finest.

INGREDIENTS:

4 1/2 -5 cups sliced Russet Potatoes, (I leave skins on)

1 cup Onions, sliced

3-4 cloves Garlic, minced

2 mini Sweet Peppers, chopped or sliced

Black Pepper

2 1/4 cups Half and Half

¼ cup Sherry

3 TBSP AP Flour

Salt & Pepper

6 oz Extra Sharp Cheese, grated.  (I like Cracker Barrel)

OPTIONAL:  Using only Extra Sharp gives the potato the tangy bite of Extra Sharp Cheese.  If you’d rather

You can do half Extra Sharp and half American.

PREPARATION:

     Butter bottom and sides of a deep casserole dish and set aside.

     In a small frying pan, add a few small pats of Butter, Onions, and a liberal sprinkling of Black Pepper.  Cook over low heat for about 15 minutes.  Add mini Sweet Peppers and cook another 10 minutes.  Add Garlic and cook until Onions are beginning to caramelize. 

     While Onions are cooking, wash Potatoes well, and slice thin.  I never peel them because I like the skin.  Lay half the Potatoes in the casserole dish, sprinkle half the Onion mixture on top.  Cut a TBSP or so of Butter and sprinkle it over the top.  Add remaining Potatoes, a little more Butter, and remaining Onion mixture.  Cover with foil and put in a preheated 400 ° F oven.

     While the Potatoes are beginning to cook in the oven, prepare the Cheese Sauce.  In a 1 ½ quart sauce pan add Half and Half, Sherry, Flour, Pepper, and a little Salt.  (cheese has plenty of salt, so don’t over do it).  Stir over medium heat until Flour is well incorporated and you begin to see tiny bubbles forming.  Turn the heat down and slowly add approximately 4 ounces of grated Cheese.  Stir until melted.  Remove from heat. 

     Take the Potatoes out of the Oven, pour the Cheese Sauce on and return the foil.  Place back in the oven for about 45 minutes. 

     Sprinkle another 2 oz or so of Grated Cheese on top of the Potatoes.  Sprinkle with Parsley and Paprika for color.  Return to the oven without the foil and bake for about 10 minutes or until the Cheese is melted.

There is a lot of Cheese Sauce, so feel free to load up your Potatoes.  For photo purposes I didn’t add as much as I normally would.  It would not have made an attractive photo with Cheese Sauce running off the sides of the plate.  Well, maybe it would have, but it’s too late now.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Grilled Marinated Veal Chops

Grilled Marinated Veal Chops, Salt Potatoes, and Tossed Salad

     Bob loves Veal Chops and grilling them is one of his favorite ways to cook them.  First he marinates them overnight in Lupo’s Marinade.  You can use your favorite marinade.  He prefers his Chops medium/rare, so 5-7 minutes per side. 

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

MEATBALLS, The Versatile Food

     Pictured is a Meatball Sub with Beef Meatballs, Spaghetti Sauce and melted Mozzarella Cheese

     What’s not to like about a Meatball? They’re round. They’re made of meat. With a little imagination, you could go wild in your kitchen! 


       Freezing Meatballs is always handy when you need a fast meal because they thaw quickly.

     Serve them with Red Sauce or Marinara over Pasta, Meatball Subs, Teriyaki, Brown Gravy over Noodles or Mashed Potatoes, Mozzarella stuffed, Meatballs in Marsala Sauce over Noodles or Mashed Potatoes, Lasagna, Pizza, Meatball Stroganoff, or any one of many different ideas. 

     Today I will share a basic recipe and you can take it from there.

INGREDIENTS: YIELDS 20-24 Meatballs

1 lb Ground Beef, or Italian Sausage, or a mixture of Ground Chicken and Ground Turkey, Veal, or Pork
3-4 TBSP Milk
¾ tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Egg
A few dashes each of Salt and Pepper
1 tsp Parsley
1 Tsp Basil
½ tsp Garlic Powder
¼ cup Sweet Onion, chopped
½ cup Plain or Seasoned Bread Crumbs

PREPARATION:

In a bowl, break up the Meat. Make a well in the center and add Milk, Worcestershire, Egg, Salt, Pepper, Parsley and Garlic Powder. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Lots of people use their hands, but I just can’t.

Add the Onion and Bread Crumbs. Mix again until incorporated. Form into balls (I use a cookie scoop. I don’t have to touch them that way and the size is uniform. They will have one flat side, but who cares and nobody will notice.

Now you have your choice of frying or baking. Either one is just as good. Fry them in a skillet until browned on all sides. Or bake on a foil or parchment lined cookie sheet in a 400° F oven for about 18-22 minutes until browned. If you’re making smaller cocktail size balls, check them after 15 minutes.

NOTES: If using Chicken and/or Turkey, make sure the temperature is 165 in the center.

If making Italian Meatballs, you can use sweet or hot. You can use ground meat or links. (Just remove the skins if you’re using links.)

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

My Favorite Chicken Salad, Mediterranean Eating Friendly

Chicken, Fruit, Veggies, Greens, and a Balsamic Vinegar Reduction. What could be better?

   Have you ever eaten something with a Balsamic Vinegar reduction drizzled over it?  Fruit, Cheese, Tossed Salad, etc?  Have you ever ordered a Caprese Salad appetizer in a restaurant?  Very expensive for a few slices of Tomato, Mozzarella, Fresh Basil, and drizzled with Olive Oil and a Balsamic Vinegar Reduction.  SO easy to make your own.  Anyway, I made a Salad out of various Greens and Veggies.  I placed cut-up Fruit around the edge, and plopped a leftover grilled Chicken Breast on top.  I drizzled with a Balsamic Vinegar reduction, and dug in!!!  So healthy.  So good!

     Feel free to grill your Chicken just for this dish, but to me it makes sense when BBQing Chicken to grill a few extra pieces to save for this delicious Salad!  For an informal dinner, I think putting out various containers with all the Salad Ingredients and letting people make their own would be fun!

PREPARATION OF BALSAMIC VINEGAR REDUCTION IS SIMPLE:      Simply pour your favorite Balsamic Vinegar in a pan and let it simmer until it’s the consistency you want.  It only takes a few minutes, so don’t walk away.  (Some people like to add Honey, but I think the Vinegar reduction is sweet enough).

    Feel free to drizzle a little Olive Oil over the Greens also. 

Here’s what I put on my Salad:

Grilled Chicken, your choice of cut

Baby Spinach

Arugula

Fresh Basil

Romaine Lettuce

Onions, sliced

Green Olives

Kalamata Olives

Cherry Tomatoes

Cucumbers

Strawberries

Raspberries

Grapes

Watermelon

For Cheese, either sliced Fresh Mozzarella or Feta would be great.  Stop looking for the Cheese on my Salad.  There isn’t any ☹  I was out of both.  Yes, I cried a little.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019