Harvest Chicken and Vegetable Salad

It’s FINALLY starting to feel like Fall in Austin. Even though Halloween is here and gone, I just haven’t felt like it’s truly Fall yet with temperatures still in the 80’s. Luckily, we did visit Kansas City a few weeks ago with my family and enjoyed some cooler temperatures. When it’s 60 degrees in December and everyone back home in Nebraska has freezing temperatures, I might not be complaining so much. 🙂 We had a blast in K.C. It was great seeing my family and just taking some time to relax. I napped! Which is very rare for me, usually because my brain can’t shut off long enough in the middle of the day for me to sleep. We had some tasty food and enjoyed the Chiefs vs. Texans football game. Cheering for the Texans ended poorly but I still had fun tailgating and munching on hamburgers, local Italian and Polish sausage, grilled bell peppers and plantain chips.

Family Tailgate

I’ve been enjoying my Fall veggies like crazy here in Austin. Butternut squash, kale, Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes are on my weekly rotation. Joe found two Urban Farms here (Boggy Creek Farm and Springdale Farm), literally in the middle of the city, that have Market Days on the weekend. As part of our anniversary present, we went last weekend and came back with lots of fresh veggies: purple and yellow beans (like green beans), kale, red and green leaf lettuce, pears, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and some delicious light green-colored eggplant (so tasty fried up in butter).

This weekend we are heading to Salty Sow again (I talked about our first visit there in this post). I am sooo excited! We were supposed to go last weekend, but I wasn’t feeling 100% so we postponed. I am looking forward to the duck fat fried French fries with 110 degree egg like you wouldn’t believe. I dream about those fries sometimes. Let’s hope they live up to the hype I built up around them. They also have an awesome Happy Hour menu that is available on the weekends as well. I’m sure we will be trying lots of appetizers to go along with their homemade, unique cocktails. YUM!

With Halloween passed, candy is obviously a big temptation. I usually do well and stay away because I know how awful it makes me feel. But sometimes I still like to have that treat. I just made these Homemade Snickers Bars (sans nuts since Joe doesn’t like them) and they turned out awesome! I wouldn’t be surprised if they aren’t gone in the next few days. I made them slightly smaller than the recipe calls for and they are the perfect after dinner sweet treat. Try them out and let me know what you think.

This salad has become of my favorites, specifically during the Fall season. During the summer, I really love this chicken and prosciutto salad. But now that I have different veggies available locally, I’ve mixed it up a bit. You could sub kale for the spinach or do a combo of both. Add in whatever veggies you like. You can also roast your chicken in the oven or cook it in the crockpot like I do. The crockpot is just much easier, especially during the week. Save those bones to make some homemade chicken broth! This is also easy to throw together if you already have leftover chicken and bacon in the fridge. Just roast the veggies, make the dressing and you are ready.

Harvest Chicken Salad

 

Harvest Chicken and Vegetable Salad

Serves 4
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 8 hours
Total time 8 hours, 30 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Main Dish, Salad
Roasted winter veggies and chicken top this delicious fall-inspired salad.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 butternut squash (cubed)
  • 1 bunch Brussels sprouts (cut in half)
  • 1lb bacon (left whole if baking, or diced if cooking in skillet)
  • Spinach and/or kale
  • Raw sunflower seeds

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • Salt/pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Salt/pepper

Directions

Chicken
Step 1
Place whole chicken in crockpot. Season with salt and pepper thoroughly. Cook on low 6-8 hours or until cooked through. Separate the meat from the skin and bones and shred. Keep chicken warm. Reserve bones for another use.
Roasted Veggies
Step 2
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place cubed butternut squash and halved Brussels sprouts on one-two large baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven 30-45 minutes or until soft, flipping half way through.
Bacon
Step 3
Either place whole bacon slices on a parchment-covered baking sheet and place in the oven at 400 degrees F with the veggies for about 20-25 minutes or dice up and cook in a skillet over medium heat until crispy. Place cooked bacon on a paper towel-lined plate and reserve for topping the salad.
Dressing
Step 4
Whisk all ingredients for dressing in large bowl and reserve.
Step 5
Place spinach and/or kale in individual bowls. Top with chicken, roasted butternut squash and Brussels sprouts, bacon, sunflower seeds and dressing. Enjoy!
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