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Buttermilk Chicken Portobello Salad

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Recipe By Joy Manning and Tara Desmond from Almost Meatless

It’s no secret that a big bowl of crisp, leafy greens and colorful accompaniments can be a perfectly pleasing meal. But this salad offers meaty sustenance with smoky grill flavors and a tangy herb dressing. A buttermilk marinade tenderizes the lean chicken breasts, and the open flames impart a savory grilled flavor to the antioxidant-packed Portobello. Bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces can withstand the high heat of the grill and still emerge juicy and flavorful. The complete salad tosses tons of tastes with salty feta and just-charred croutons for a substantial meal.

Serves 4


  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (leaves from about 6 sprigs)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallot
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bone-in, skin-on split chicken breasts
  • 3 Portobello mushroom caps
  • 4 1-inch thick slices sourdough or ciabatta bread
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 10 ounces romaine lettuce
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, cubed

For the Buttermilk Herb Dressing:

  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • Leaves from 1 sprig of thyme
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves
  • ½ clove garlic, minced to a paste
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Several grinds of black pepper


    1. Whisk together buttermilk, garlic, lemon zest, thyme, shallot, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken breasts, cover, refrigerate, and marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
    2. Preheat the grill to medium-high.
    3. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on oiled grates of hot grill, skin side down. Cook until an instant read thermometer registers 160°F, about 20 minutes, turning once or twice.
    4. Meanwhile, brush the mushroom caps and bread slices with olive oil. Sprinkle mushrooms with salt and pepper. Add the mushrooms to the grill cooking for a total of about 8 minutes, flipping once. Add bread slices and toast on both sides just until grill marks appear, about 3 minutes. Remove chicken, mushrooms, and bread and let cool before slicing. Cut the chicken off the bone and slice the meat and mushrooms in ¼-inch slices. Cut the bread into large cubes.
    5. To make the dressing, place the buttermilk, canola oil, lemon juice, chives, thyme, parley, garlic, salt, and pepper in a blender and pulse several times until smooth and creamy.
    6. Toss lettuce, feta cheese, and tomatoes with the dressing. Top the salad with chicken, mushrooms, and grilled bread croutons.
Photo from Jen on the Edge

Reminder: The ingredients in a recipe determine if it should be eaten every day, some days, or on special occasions. It's up to you and you doctor to determine what can be part of a healthy diet for you and any special needs you may have.

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Photo by Flicker user mollycakes / CC BY-NC 2.0

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