Let the Lemon Parade Begin

I know it is not that time of the year, but right now, I am in love with citrusy flavors.  And while you might not find the best oranges or grapefruits this time of year, it is still possible to get great lemons and limes.  To me, nothing says summer like a tall, icy glass of lemonade.  However, my love of citrus goes beyond summer's classic beverage.  Right now I am totally fiending on lemon chicken, lemon dressing, lemon bars, key lime pie, and lemon potato salad.  Yummy!  My list can go on and on, the lime cilantro rice at Chipotle, oh my.  One last favorite, wilted spinach with a healthy dash of lemon juice.  Wow, so fresh!

The other day, as I was experimenting in my kitchen with some plain chicken breast, I got a hankering for lemon chicken breast.  That made me remember a chicken salad that I tried once that was lemony.  Suddenly, that was all I wanted to eat.  Try this recipe - it will definitely hit the sour spot.

Dijon Lemon Chicken and Salad
Omit the chicken and butter and this makes a great dressing or topping for a couscous, garden, or pasta salad.  It can be served hot or cold.

2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 medium to large chicken breasts
1 1/2 teaspoonsalt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon of dried dill
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 minced shallot
1 clove minced garlic
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Juice of two large lemons or four small lemons, which is around 1/3 to 1/2 cup. 
1 tablespoon butter

Add the oil to your pan and turn your heat to medium.  Salt and pepper the chicken breast on both sides and add to the warmed pan.  Cook both sides for 5 minutes each.  In a separate bowl, add the other ingredients except the butter and mix well.  Pour these ingredients over the chicken breast and add the butter to the pan, allowing the mixture to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes with the pan covered.

When chicken juices run clear, remove the chicken from the pan.  Pour the light pan sauce over the chicken and cover.  Refrigerate overnight or until cold.

At this point, if you don't like chicken salad, you can chop the chicken up into strips and serve it atop a bed of arugula greens with diced artichokes, avocadoes, or heart of palm.  It is also delicious with a side of wilted spinach and paper thin slices of lemon.  Yummy!

Salad Preparation
I love for the chicken used in my salad to have a quick zip through a food processor. It gives it a better consistency to add other items to make it smoother. I use a manual brand by Progressive that is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. I think they have updated the crank of this product, so if you search for it online, it may look a little different.

Two cooked chicken breast either finely chopped or put in a food processor for 30 seconds.
2 boiled eggs chopped
1 stalk of celery, minced
1 tablespoon of capers
1 tablespoon of dried dill or a handful of fresh cleaned dill
3 tablespoons of mayonnaise  
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (coarse or smooth)
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezedlemon juice
Mandolin thinly sliced lemons 6-8 slices

Mix all ingredients together except the lemon slices.  Let it rest in fridge for at least two hours or overnight.  When ready to eat, spread the mixture on soft bread or a roll and add two slices of lemon to the top of the sandwich.  Yummy!