7.7.15 Black Rice Salad with Chicken and Cherries
It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. Crazy fun of course, but still crazy nonetheless. Summer in Wisconsin is one of the best things ever in my opinion, and as a result, we once again decided to pack in as many fun summer activities as we could over the last couple of weeks. For us, this sort of thing is inevitable come this time of year. Boating, cook-outs, plenty of terrace time, traveling, visiting with friends and family - all in all, it’s been quite wonderful. Although I must admit, we’ve been so busy, I’ve barely had time to cook.
Not to worry though, because summer fun doesn’t always have to be crazy. This week, I’m looking forward to having some peaceful time in Madison to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the glorious summer weather. Things like long, leisurely, picnics come to mind. That’s where you’ll find me digging into a big bowl of this black rice salad.
Because here’s the thing about grain salads - they’re hearty enough to make a full meal, yet wonderfully refreshing and easily portable - perfect picnic food. And this one, made with nutty black rice, roasted chicken, fresh sweet cherries, herbs, and toasted pecans is no exception. Add a cold glass of bubbly (water, in my case), and a blanket and you’re ready to picnic away.
Black Rice Salad with Chicken and Cherries
Black rice makes a striking visual contrast to the bright red cherries, but it can sometimes be hard to find. If you’re having trouble, wild rice or brown rice would be a good substitute.
- 3 cups cooked black rice (from about 1 cup uncooked), cooled
- 1 lb boneless chicken breasts
- 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 tsp salt, divided
- 1 tsp black pepper, divided
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 ½ cups fresh sweet cherries, halved and pitted
- ½ cup chopped toasted pecans
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup finely chopped scallions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Coat chicken breasts evenly with 1 Tbsp olive oil, then sprinkle evenly with ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees until cooked through and golden brown on the outside, about 25 minutes. Cool and shred.
3. In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the remaining 3 Tbsp olive oil, the apple cider vinegar, honey, dijon mustard, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper.
4. Combine the rice, chicken, dressing, cherries, pecans, parsley, and scallions in a large bowl, tossing to mix well. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if needed.