Friday, March 27, 2015

Chicken, Avocado and Goat Cheese Salad in Endive Cups

Not long ago my daughters and I were invited to a play-date at one of my friends house.  She casually mentioned she would have lunch for the mommies there.  Since I am always looking for my next meal, my curiosity and hunger were peaked.  Mind you, I had already eaten lunch but that is neither here nor there.  When we arrived, I quickly sent my girls off to play and went to the kitchen to do what I do best (eat).  After I consumed my share and probably more, I asked her about it.  She explained to me that it was incredibly easy with no cooking required!  This salad uses a store bought rotisserie chicken (genius), avocado, goat cheese and the dressing is simply lime juice.  The cilantro and chives add a bright freshness and the whole thing can be eaten as is, in a tortilla, as a dip or on bread.  However, I love to use the salad to fill Endive (aun-deev) cups, which are little lettuce-type leaves that are crunchy and beautiful.  They have a slightly bittersweet flavor that works perfectly with this salad.  In this form, the recipe makes a beautiful and healthy appetizer for a dinner party or an easy and delicious weeknight dinner.  This might be the best thing to ever come out of a play-date!  Oh and my friend who threw this recipe together?  Not only is she an incredible cook and hostess, she also makes the sweetest clothes and accessories and has her own Etsy shop Little BumbleBees.  Check it out while munching on this yummy salad!

This is what you need:

1 Rotisserie Chicken
3 Avocados
The Juice of 1-2 Limes
20 Endive Leaves (or any lettuce cups would work perfect)
3 oz Goat Cheese
Handful of Cilantro Leaves
1 tbsp Chives - chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

This is what you do:
Remove all the meat from the chicken and chop into bite size pieces.  Chop the avocado and goat cheese in bite size pieces and add to a bowl.  Add the lime juice, cilantro and chives and gently mix to combine.  Salt and pepper to taste and fill the endive cups.  Serve and enjoy!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4-8

First thing to do is to take off all the chicken meat, remove the skin and chop into bite size pieces.  You can use your fingers or a knife, I use both.
About this size.

When you are done, you should have several cups of chicken meat.  The mix of white and dark meat works perfectly in this dish. 

Throw into a large bowl and add the chopped avocados.
Cut the bite size pieces in the skin and then take a spoon and scoop them out right over the bowl.  

Then squeeze your limes and add the chopped goat cheese.  Start with one lime and add as needed, I use 1 and a half. Then add the cilantro and chives to the bowl and mix the whole thing gently. 
You don't want the avocado pieces to break up, but the goat cheese probably will.  This is good and creates a binder for the whole thing. Taste and add salt, pepper and more lime juice if needed. 

Now get the endives or lettuce cups ready.  If using endives, cut the bottom off and remove any outer leaves that have been damaged.  Then just peel off each leaf. 
So beautiful. 

Then all that needs to be done is to fill those cups!  

I like to make several of them, then serve the remaining salad in a bowl alongside the empty endives to allow each person to make their own as needed. 
It looks beautiful and keeps each endive leaf fresh and crisp.
This is such a healthy, beautiful salad that really can be used in so many ways.  My husband loves to eat it with tortilla chips and it absolutely delicious as sandwich filling.  However you eat it, just make it!  It's fantastic!