spicy sriracha grilled chicken and watermelon salad

★★★★★ 2
By Jess Grearson
from Falmouth, ME

At a family celebration recently, my brother ordered a special that came with a watermelon salad. He was seated far from me, so I didn't get a bite, and I've been wondering about that salad ever since. Here's my attempt to recreate it as a bed for my favorite fast chicken. The cool sweet salad balances the saucy heat of the Sriracha to perfection. The simplicity of this marinade is matched only by its great taste. Tender, juicy and tangy...Mind the cooking time: the flattened chicken's ready in minutes, which makes this a great dish for hungry people!

Blue Ribbon Recipe

What a delicious summer salad! Baby arugula is a great base that adds a touch of nuttiness. The addition of watermelon, basil, and Feta is a delightful flavor combination and gives the salad its fresh summery feel. Sriracha grilled chicken has just enough kick without dominating the flavors. Jess's slightly sweet and tangy dressing pulls everything together. This light, but hardy, salad is a great summer dinner.

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
★★★★★ 2
serves 4
prep time 15 Min
cook time 10 Min
method Grill

Ingredients For spicy sriracha grilled chicken and watermelon salad

  • 2
    boneless skinless chicken breasts (8 oz each), flattened to 1/2 inch
  • 6 Tbsp
    fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 1 Tbsp
    Sriracha hot sauce
  • 2 pinch
    salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 c
    extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp
    agave syrup (honey may be substituted)
  • 4 c
    baby arugula
  • 3 c
    small-diced seedless watermelon, drained
  • 1/2 c
    cherry tomatoes, quartered and drained
  • 1/2 c
    yellow cherry or pear tomatoes, quartered and drained
  • 1/2 c
    Feta crumbles
  • 1/2 c
    fresh basil, cut to chiffonade

How To Make spicy sriracha grilled chicken and watermelon salad

Test Kitchen Tips
If you like a lot of dressing on your salad, we'd suggest making extra. And, make sure to save extra fresh basil that is chiffonade so you can top the salad and get even more basil flavor.
  • Cutting the chicken breasts in half.
    1
    Prepare gas grill to medium heat. Cut each (8oz) chicken breast horizontally nearly through, open like book and pound to 1/2-inch. Season both sides with pinches of salt and pepper.
  • Lemon juice and Sriracha in a mixing bowl.
    2
    In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with 2 Tbsp of the lemon juice whisked with Sriracha.
  • Marinating the chicken.
    3
    Marinate at room temperature for 5 minutes.
  • Grilling the marinated chicken.
    4
    Oil grill. Grill chicken, flipping once, about 4-5 minutes per side, until meat tests 160 internally.
  • Letting the chicken rest.
    5
    Let rest while preparing the salad.
  • Lemon juice, olive oil, agave (or honey), salt, and pepper in a bowl.
    6
    For dressing, in a small bowl, combine the remaining 4 Tbsps lemon juice with the olive oil, agave, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Whisk well.
  • Arugula, watermelon, tomatoes, Feta, and basil added to the bowl.
    7
    In a medium bowl, gently toss arugula, watermelon, tomatoes, Feta, basil, and half of the dressing; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Salad divided on a plate.
    8
    Divide salad mixture among 4 plates. Top with chicken, sliced, and drizzle with the remaining dressing.
  • Salad drizzled with dressing.
    9
    Cook's note: Though you can substitute another hot sauce for the Sriracha sauce in a pinch, we love this for its flavor, not just its heat!
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