farro and chicken salad with dates and cranberries
Recipe type: salad
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 cup farro, well-rinsed
  • 2 bone-in skin on chicken breasts or approximately 2-3 cups leftover chicken, shredded
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries
  • ⅓ cup or approximately 5-6 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Optional - 2 ounces Manchego Cheese, shaved and peeled with a vegetable peeler
  • Your favorite greens such as; mixed greens, kale or spinach - I used mixed greens the first time and then spinach the next time.
  • Marcona almonds for topping and for some added crunch
Champagne Vinaigrette:
  • ¼ cup champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. Let's start by cooking the farro and chicken. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Rub them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast the chicken breasts for 35 to 45 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. The breasts I get locally are always huge, so they usually take between 45-60 minutes. I always use my meat thermometer here and take the chicken out when it reaches an internal temperature of 165º. Note: For time efficiency, the chicken can be roasted and shredded up ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until needed.
  4. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones, discard the skin, shred the chicken meat, and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, put farro into a medium sauce pan and cover with 4 inches of water.
  6. Bring to a boil, (uncovered) reduce the heat to low or simmer, and cook uncovered until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. I would test the farro at 15 minutes to see where it’s at. You want it to be al dente, firm, chewy and a bit tender, but not mushy.
  7. Drain the farro. Spread the farro on baking sheet to cool. I always put the baking sheet in the fridge to cool faster.
  8. While the farro and chicken are cooling, you can prep the other ingredients and make the champagne vinaigrette. Chop up the Marcona almonds, (if using), pit and chop up the dates, measure out ¼ teaspoon salt and the ⅓ cup cranberries.
  9. To make the dressing, get out a blender and add in the ¼ cup champagne vinegar, 1 tablespoon honey, ¼ teaspoon sea salt and a pinch of black pepper. Pulse to combine the ingredients.
  10. With the machine running slowly, drizzle in the olive oil. Blend the dressing until it is well emulsified, thick in texture and has a creamy yellow color.
  11. You can make this dressing ahead of time, just pour it into a container with a lid and put it in the refrigerator. Make sure to whisk or shake it well before you use it.
  12. Now it's time to assemble the salad. I usually just make this salad up ahead of time and store it in a container to eat for lunch and dinner the next few days. So, if you're not serving this up right away to friends, then get out a large bowl and add in the cooled farro, shredded chicken, chopped dates, cranberries, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Toss to combine the ingredients.
  13. Add to the farro salad, ½ of the champagne vinaigrette and toss to combine. Add in more vinaigrette as needed for taste. Store any unused dressing in the refrigerator.
  14. When you're ready to serve up the salad, put some fresh greens on a plate or bowl, top the greens with the farro salad and mix it all together. Garnish with the shaved Manchego cheese and chopped almonds.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: serves 6-8
Recipe by Marin Mama Cooks at https://marinmamacooks.com/2014/04/farro-chicken-salad/