Kale and Roast Chicken Salad with Homemade Ranch
This protein-packed salad has been keeping my crazy hunger at bay! It's crunchy, has a little acidity, and is a great choice for either dinner or work lunches.
Weeknights, man. When the winter sets in and you live this far north, they become a challenge. It gets dark here by 4:30 p.m., and it feels like the population goes home and stays in after spending our evenings and weekends playing outside all summer and fall and doesn’t get much done.
It’s quite an adjustment – and there is an easy path straight to the couch to watch TV after making an easy dinner, to watch a couple of hours on Netflix and head to bed.
There have definitely been nights where we’ve done that. But last night, we tried something new that I think was pretty awesome. At about 3 p.m., Dave messaged me and suggested we make a plan for how to spend the evening. It is December after all, and we have Christmas cards to design and send, wish lists to make for family and menus to plan for our own holiday party.
So we did! We made a plan and I took charge of dinner, since Dave would be working longer than I would yesterday. Turns out you can make a pretty great easy dinner in just about 20 minutes – I made us steak au poivre and creamed kale, over some leftover rice and with a bottle of pinot noir (not usually what you think of when it comes to quick and easy dinners!). It was terrific, and we enjoyed the rest of the bottle of wine as we sat together at our kitchen table and worked on our holiday activities and listened to music. And we went to sleep last night feeling like we had accomplished a lot and had a great time hanging out together. I see many more nights like this in our future.
This salad is another recipe that I feel like can make a fantastic weeknight meal that will feel great but not actually take a lot of effort. There are two things to prep ahead: roast chicken (or you can just buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it), and the radicchio – it starts off so bitter, but it really really benefits from an hourlong soak in water in the fridge, which you can do ahead or not. After the soak, just dry it and save it for use in your salad in a ziplock bag with a paper towel inside to absorb moisture.