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Chicken & Farro Kale Salad with Garlicky Chile Vinaigrette

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Ohhhh guess what I did. I took my FAVORITE soup from Bon Appétit and made it into a salad. If you’re a die-hard BA lover like me, you’ve probably made it. It’s their Chicken and Rice Soup with Garlicky Chile Oil. Soooooo good. So good that I tweaked it and turned it into a farro & kale salad, because sometimes you want salad instead of soup.

You know that meme of Seth Rogan “when you eat a salad and feel healthy AF”? That’s me after this salad. It’s so good for you! Here’s what’s going on in this dish: we’ve got beautiful green kale, savory farro, roasted carrots, tender chicken breast, and bright fresh dill and scallions. AND GARLIC CHILE VINAIGRETTE. This vinaigrette is simple simple simple—make the garlic oil, pour over red chile flakes, add lemon, shake it up. It’s not too spicy, I promise. Unless you think ketchup is spicy. Then it is too spicy and you should probably leave the red chile flakes out. But those little fried garlic chips are UHHMAZING. You gotta make this vinaigrette.

Fried garlic chips & red pepper flakes in oil

Ingredients You’ll Need

For the Salad:

  • Kale: This nutrient-dense leafy green is the base of our salad. We slice it thin so that it’s not like you’re eating a huge tough leaf. I use my salad spinner to make sure my kale is nice and clean. Anti-kale? Go ahead and use whatever greens you prefer as the base. Just keep in mind that less hearty greens will not keep well, and leftovers should be kept separate from the greens.
  • Chicken: High in protein and low in fat, chicken breast is perfect for this salad. You could also use chicken thighs, rotisserie chicken meat, or even turkey breast here. Or go vegetarian and omit chicken altogether!
  • Farro: This ancient grain is nutty and chewy and high in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It’s a GREAT and very tasty grain, but you could substitute any grain here if you want. Barley or spelt would be delicious too, or if you’re going gluten-free, brown rice, quinoa, or sorghum would be good choices.
  • Chicken broth: I always cook my grains in chicken broth to boost flavor. You could use a different kind of broth or just water + salt.
  • Carrots: Roasting carrots boosts their carotenoids, which is an antioxidant! They are also packed with Vitamin A. Honestly, I use baby carrots instead of big ones because that’s just usually what I have on hand. If you don’t like carrots, parsnips could work too.
  • Scallions: Thinly sliced scallions are a tasty topping without being overpoweringly onion-y.
  • Fresh dill: The perfect herb to bring it all together!! If you don’t have fresh dill, I would substitute with another fresh herb like cilantro, parsley, or basil. Dried dill just isn’t gonna do it here, in my opinion.

For the Dressing:

  • High heat oil: You want to choose an oil that has a high smoke point, like avocado, canola, or sunflower oil. We’re using this oil to fry our garlic chips, so it’s important to choose an oil that can tolerate high heats to prevent a smoky kitchen.
  • Garlic: To fry in our oil! Yummmm, fried crispy-crunchy garlic chips! They are to die for.
  • Red pepper flakes: We pour our hot oil & garlic chips over a spoonful of red pepper flakes, which makes them bloom and brings out their spicy flavor. If you aren’t into spice, you can reduce the amount or not use them at all.
  • Lemon juice: Lemon juice is the acidic yin to the oil yang in our vinaigrette. Super fresh and simple! I love my handy citrus squeezer for juicing lemons. You could use your favorite vinegar in place of lemon if need be.

How to Make Chicken & Farro Kale Salad with Garlicky Chile Vinaigrette

  1. Roast the carrots. Pop ’em into the oven tossed with a bit of oil, salt & pepper. Roast for 30 minutes.
  2. Make the farro. Simmer farro with chicken broth, covered for 20 minutes or until tender.
  3. Cook the chicken. You can do this in whatever way you prefer. I like to sear chicken breasts on one side, flip, then cover and cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Then I turn off the heat and leave covered for 10 more minutes. Works every time!
  4. Make the vinaigrette. Add red pepper flakes to a glass jar or bowl. You’ll make the dressing in this jar/bowl so choose wisely! Heat oil in a sauté pan until shimmering, then add thinly sliced garlic. Swirl the pan around until garlic begins to look toasty, then pour over the red pepper flakes into the jar. The garlic will continue cooking in the hot oil, so be a bit conservative on the cooking time. You don’t want them to burn! Once oil has cooled a bit, add the lemon juice and shake/whisk to emulsify.
  5. Assemble the salad. Add it all together—roasted carrots, farro, kale, chicken, garlicky chile vinaigrette, scallions, & dill. I like to make this in a big container with a lid so I can just shake it all up easy peasy. Enjoy!
Chicken & Farro Kale Salad with Garlicky Chile Vinaigrette

More great kale salad recipes…

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Chicken & Farro Kale Salad with Garlicky Chile Vinaigrette

  • Author: Megan B-L
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 45 servings 1x
  • Category: Salads

Description

Beautiful green kale, savory farro, roasted carrots, tender chicken breast, and bright fresh dill and scallions. AND GARLIC CHILE VINAIGRETTE.

Inspired by Bon Appétit. 


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup farro, rinsed
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf kale, stripped from stems and sliced into ribbons
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced

Garlicky Chile Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup high smoke point oil such as avocado or canola
  • 7 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • juice of 1 lemon

Instructions

  • Start with the carrots: preheat oven to 425°. Toss 2 cups chopped carrots with a glug of oil, salt & pepper, place on baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing halfway through.
  • While carrots are roasting, make the farro. Add 1 cup farro and 3 cups chicken broth to a medium pot on high heat. When it comes to a boil, cover and lower heat to a simmer for 20 minutes. Check for doneness—some farro will need more time. If it’s done, leave the lid on and heat off until you’re ready to use it. (If there’s still lots of liquid left, drain it.)
  • Cook the chicken. This is my no-fail method: Add about 2 tablespoons oil to a pan on high heat. Pat chicken dry, sprinkle with salt & pepper. When oil shimmers, place chicken in the pan and set a timer for 1 minute. After the minute is up, flip chicken, turn heat to low, cover for 10 minutes. (If breasts are very thick, add a few minutes) After 10 minutes, turn off heat but leave chicken covered for 10 more minutes. Done! Chop chicken into bite-size pieces.
  • Let’s make the vinaigrette. Put 2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes in an 8 oz glass jar or small glass bowl. In a small pan, heat cup oil until a drop of water sputters. Add 7 cloves thinly sliced garlic, swirling occasionally for about 2-3 minutes, or until about half the pieces are looking lightly toasted. Pour garlic + oil into glass container that holds red pepper flakes. Let cool for at least 5 minutes, then pour in juice of 1 lemon. Shake or whisk vinaigrette until emulsified.
  • Put it all together in a bowl or large tupperware. In goes the kale, farro, chicken, roast carrots, scallions, dill, and as much vinaigrette as you prefer. Salt to taste. Toss it all together and enjoy!


Notes

  • Since kale is hearty, this salad will keep, dressed, in the fridge for several days.

Keywords: kale, chicken, garlic, dairy free

3 Comments

  • Kiki
    February 16, 2021 at 1:25 pm

    WOWEE! I’m totally making this. I’m already salivating? Can’t wait to try it!

    Reply
    • Megan B-L
      February 16, 2021 at 1:50 pm

      yayayay!!! let me know what you think!!

      Reply
  • Dina
    March 4, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    Super D! The combinations of flavor and texture in this salad go really well together! I didn’t want to dirty another pan so I just peeled and sliced the carrots super thin and tossed them in like that. Which worked out just fine! Keep up the good work Megan!

    Reply

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