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The Recipe of the Week from The Happy Chef: Chicken Salad with Some Determined Basil

I have this little Basil plant that has been so good to me. He is really little yet so bountiful. I have picked off all of his leaves so many times over the last few months yet each time I go back for more there he is with new leaves to pick! I am just amazed at how well he has continued to produce. When we first planted him, he did not look like he would do so well. In fact, he was scrawny (I think he was on-sale when we bought him) and I wasn’t sure he’d produce the first crop. Well cold weather is coming so when I picked some basil leaves the other day I felt like it might finally really be the last batch, so I spoke these goodbye words to my Basil plant, “Thank you, you have been so good to us.” I know these words were not just meant for the Basil plant but for the good earth as well and most of all for the God who made it all. When I look at my little Basil plant I think of the wonderful children’s book, “The Giving Tree” – and I remember that my little plant was made to give. I like that this plant made me stop and notice the specific blessing He brings. He has reminded me to slow down and pay attention . . . How great life is when we are inspired to do just that.

There are so many wonderful recipes for chicken salad – this is one of my favorites!

1 yellow bell pepper, cut up

2 tablespoons white balsamic or white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 (2-lb.) cooked whole chicken

1/2 cup thinly sliced onion

2 medium ripe tomatoes, sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 cup whole fresh basil leaves

-For the dressing, in a blender container combine the yellow pepper, white balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cover and blend until smooth; set aside.

– Remove meat from chicken; tear into large shreds. Toss chicken and onion with half the dressing in medium bowl; let stand 10 minutes.

– Meanwhile, arrange tomatoes on large serving platter and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

– Add basil to chicken; toss. Arrange on top of tomatoes. Drizzle with remaining dressing.

By Leigh Sackett
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