No-fry Super Crispy Chicken Salad

Like all American kids, when my kids were little (they are in college now!), they were addicted to chicken nuggets. And my son was an especially picky eater back then and his diet consisted on a handful of things of which Chicken Nuggets, French fries and raw vegetables (carrots, celery, broccoli, cucumbers etc…). I didn’t want him to eat overly processed foods and so I made this no-fry crispy chicken recipe for him and for years he had this for dinner at least a couple of times a week.
I have to admit, I too love a good piece of fried chicken but like most healthy people I try to avoid fried dishes but baking the chicken doesn’t get the same crispy outer layer. I hear that an air-fryer does achieve the desired results without the unhealthy addition of fat calories but I haven’t invested in that devise as yet. So until such time that I can buy an air-fryer, this recipe of coating a piece of chicken breast with Panko bread crumbs is going to stay a staple at my place. To add some flavor to the chicken breast, I also add some Herbs de Provence and some smoked Paprika. I cook the chicken breast in a non-stick pan or in a cast iron skillet with a little bit of extra virgin olive and either slice it over a large salad or sometimes I put it in a brioche roll and make a chicken breast sandwich out of it. Either way – the chicken is delicious, juicy, healthy and easy to make. It is a quick recipe too – takes less than 15 minutes from start to finish.



1. A cup of baby arugula (or any lettuce leaves you like)
2. 10-12 cherry tomatoes
3. 1 small red onion
4. 1 small cucumber
5. 1 turnip or radish
6. 1-3 sweet bell peppers
7. 2-3 ounces of feta cheese
8. 10-12 olives (I used the ones marinated with feta cheese in olive oil)
9. 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
10. 1 tablespoon honey
11. 1.5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
12. 6-8 ounces of boneless chicken breast
13. ½ cup of panko
14. 1-2 teaspoon of herbs de Provence
15. 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
16. 1 egg
17. Salt and pepper (as per taste)


1. Cut all the tomatoes, cucumber, Turnip in bite-sized pieces.
2. Peel and thinly slice the red onion.

3. Lay a bed of the lettuce down on the serving bowl and add all the vegetables and onion over the lettuce.

4. Add the feta and the olive to the salad.
5. To make the chicken, set up a breading station with whisked egg in one bowl and panko in another bowl.

6. Using a meat mallet lightly beat the chicken breast down so it gets flattened to a thickness of about ½ inch or so. I like to cut each breast in smaller pieces but you can keep it in one piece if you so prefer.

7. Sprinkle the herbs, paprika, salt and pepper over each of the chicken breast pieces.
8. Break open the egg in a bowl and whisk it.

9. Dip the chicken breast in the whisked egg.

10. Next place the chicken breast in the bowl containing Panko bread crumbs.
11. Heat a nonstick pan or a cast iron skillet over medium heat and pour a tablespoon of olive oil in it.

12. Place the Panko coated chicken breast gently in the heated pan and cook each side of it for approximately 3-4 minutes or until the breading looks golden brown.

13. Slice the cooked breaded chicken breast pieces and place these over the salad.

14. Make a vinaigrette with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey and whisk it till all the ingredients get emulsified.
15. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad evenly and gently toss the salad. Serve immediately (or the chicken breast may lose its crunch and get soggy with the vinaigrette).


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