Roast Chicken and Grape Salad

Nothing makes me feel more domestic than planning a week of dinners in advance. I hardly ever do this, because I tend to have very strong and specific cravings for food that pop up unexpectedly. And if I don't want to eat something, I won't, whether or not it's sitting in my fridge, about to go off. Once in a blue moon, however, I get my act together and write down a week of meals which are easily cooked from one cohesive shopping list. This is usually motivated by having spent too much on other stuff and needing to save some money. 

Roast chickens is the easiest way to come up with a week of meals, and relatively cheaply. That is, if you don't mind the idea of eating chicken a lot in a week. What I do is roast two chickens with lemon and thyme and garlic. We (there are two people in this house) then eat 3/4 of one chicken as a proper roast dinner, with roast carrots and potatoes etc. and then move on to leftovers. I save the breasts whole, and shred the rest of the meat. This gives me at least enough chicken for 2 salads and one other meals - a stirfry or pasta or something. AND the bones make stock for soup. I told you it was good.

This is one of the best salads to make with leftover chicken. I'm not a big chicken breast fan, but the Lemon mustard vinaigrette is flavourful enough to make any white meat delicious. If I'm honest, I think the appropriate herb for this salad is tarragon, but I have a love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with it, so I used dill instead. You could also use parsley if you prefer. The sweetness of the grapes goes really well with the tangy vinaigrette. And with this much green in one meal, you know it's bound to be good for you.

Chicken and Grape Salad with Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette
Serves 2

Leftover chicken - I used 2 chicken breasts, thickly sliced.
1 head of Romaine lettuce, sliced coarsely
200g sugar snap peas, trimmed of their ends
150g green seedless grapes, sliced in half
A few dill fronds, to garnish

For the vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
Juice of a lemon
2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon finely chopped dill (or tarragon, or parsley)
1 teaspoon honey, or to taste
5-6 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper

If you have really fresh sugar snap peas, feel free to use them raw. Mine weren't in their prime, so I blanched them in boiling water for a minute or two, and then immediately dunked them in ice cold water to stop them cooking and chill them. They should still be really crunchy, but not have that raw squeakiness.

When you've prepared all your vegetables, place them in a large bowl. Make your dressing.

Whisk the mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, honey and salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Taste it, and adjust it if you prefer it sweeter or tangier. Next, drizzle in the olive oil while whisking to emulsify the dressing. Stir in the chopped herbs.

Drizzle the dressing over the salad, toss to dress. Serve with the reserved dill fronds on top as a garnish.