When I was a kid, summer vacation always started with an annual trip to McDonalds. The pilgrimage, which coincided with the last day of school, was something that I looked forward to for weeks, and I always got the same thing: a 6 pack of chicken nuggets with honey mustard sauce.
It's strange to look back now and think about how much I looked forward to the oddly uniform nuggets of spongy mystery meat, but in retrospect I think it may have been the sauce. The sweet floral honey and tangy acerbic mustard are contrasts that go together like black and white.
While this grilled chicken with honey mustard dressing shares ease and speed with its distant cousin from the Golden Arches, that's about where the similarities end. It's a quick weeknight meal that you make, not because it's quick, but because it's delicious.
The chicken is seasoned simply with salt and pepper before going on the grill, so the flavor of the chicken has a chance to shine. As such, be sure to use the best quality chicken you can find. Together with subtly bitter mustard greens, peppery arugula and the sweet and the tangy dressing, this makes for a delicious protein packed meal that will fill you up without bogging you down.
- As far in advance as you can, sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the salt and pepper. Ideally you'll let it sit for 30 minutes so the salt can penetrate the meat, but if you’re short on time, you can move ahead right away.
- Wash the salad greens and dry in a salad spinner.
- Heat a grill or grill pan until hot.
- Drizzle 2 teaspoons of olive oil onto the chicken and rub all over both sides.
- Place the chicken skin-side down on the grill until it has good grill marks, and then flip and grill until the chicken is cooked through (registered 160 degrees F on a thermometer). Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Whisk the olive oil, honey, whole grain mustard, lemon juice and hot mustard together in a bowl.
- Slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
- Drizzle a few spoonfuls of dressing onto the greens and toss to coat. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Arrange the chicken on top of the salad and drizzle with the remaining dressing.