This Stacked Chicken Salad is a wonderful first course for any dinner party. BUT I'm posting this recipe now because it's the perfect start to a very special, romantic Valentine's Day dinner. Restaurants have limited menus and are overcrowded on Valentine's Day. So it's the perfect night to stay in an make an exceptionally delicious meal for two!
There are a few things that are done differently for this stacked chicken salad. The most exciting part of this salad is the crispy chicken skin topper. It's jaw dropping and delicious!!
You can also make this salad on a budget! Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are affordable and add great flavor.
This salad may look fancy but it's incredibly easy to make. I promise, YOU can do it! I have created step-by-step instructions that are easy for you to follow.
This recipe calls for pre-cooked chicken thighs, so it's a great way to utilize leftover chicken thighs. If you need to cook chicken thighs for this recipe please add an hour to the cooking time.
Stacked Chicken Salad
- Ring molds or round cookie cutters
- 1 cup roasted chicken thigh meat. Bone-in, skin-on. shredded, with skin removed and set to the side
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ avocado
- ¼ cup goat cheese I like silver goat
- fresh dill to garnish
- ½ cup diced cucumber finely diced
- 2 teaspoon pickled red onion chopped
- ¼ cup green olives (I like the garlic stuffed olives)
- 2 teaspoon fresh dill chopped
- 2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice plus some for the arugula salad
- 2 tsp olive oil
- black pepper to taste
For the Arugula Salad:
- 1 cup arugula
- 1 tablespoon lemon olive oil
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
Cooking the Crispy Chicken Skin:
- Gently remove the skin from the chicken thigh. (You may need to warm the chicken slightly to remove the skin cleanly, if you are using leftover chicken.)
- Add the skin to a nonstick skillet or well seasoned cast iron pan over medium heat.
- Allow the skin to slowly crisp up, flip after 5 minutes or once the skin begins to crisp and turn golden brown. (If medium heat is too high, reduce to medium-low)
- While the skin is crisping shred the chicken meat and in a small bowl toss with smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Set aside for later.
- Continue to check the chicken skin and keep flipping every couple minutes until the skin is nice and crispy. Set to the side on a cutting board or small plate.
For the Cucumber Salsa:
- Finely dice the cucumber, olives, red onion and dill.
- Add diced veggies to a small bowl, season with lemon juice, olive oil and black pepper. Mix well and set to the side.
For the Arugula Salad:
- In a medium bowl add arugula, lemon juice, lemon olive oil (or lemon zest and regular olive oil if you don't have lemon olive oil on hand) salt and pepper.
- Toss well and set to the side.
P L A T I N G (You can also just stack without the mold if you like)
- On a salad plate or low pasta bowl place a round ring mold or cookie cutter about 2.5 inches in diameter.
- First Layer: Diced avocado and place ½ the avocado on the bottom of the ring mold
- Second Layer: Using a spoon, add ½ the cucumber salsa evenly on the top of the avocado and gently press down with a spoon. Careful not to press too hard.
- Third Layer: Add ½ the goat cheese evenly on top of the tapenade.
- Fourth Layer: Add ½ the chicken meat gently pressing down trying to fit all the chicken meat into the mold.
- Slowly remove the mold while holding the chicken stack down to ensure the salad ingredients stay stacked.
- After the mold has been removed, top with ½ the arugula salad, crispy chicken skin and garnish with fresh dill.
Time to eat and enjoy!
I really hope you enjoy this recipe!! I am new to this whole food blogging thing, so if you make one of my recipes and it needs some tweaking, please let me know!
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ALL my Best,