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Busy day? Fix this smoked chicken and cantaloupe salad for dinner tonight

Smoked chicken and cantaloupe salad.
(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

Sometimes, it helps to have a stash of quick and simple go-to recipes for when you don’t have the time – or the desire – to even think about what to fix for dinner. Add this recipe to the arsenal.

From former Food columnist Russ Parsons, this easy salad comes together in minutes, using a minimum of ingredients. Whisk together a quick Champagne vinaigrette and toss it with some arugula, fresh cantaloupe and smoked (or rotisserie) chicken you can find at the supermarket. There’s no cooking involved — and just like that, dinner is served.

SMOKED CHICKEN AND CANTALOUPE SALAD

Total time: 20 minutes | Serves 4

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Note: Whole smoked chickens are available at some fancy grocery stores and delis. If you can’t find a whole smoked chicken, use a rotisserie chicken instead.

1 tablespoon minced shallots

2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar

1/2 pound shredded smoked chicken

3/4 pound diced cantaloupe

1 tablespoon oil

Pinch of salt

2 ounces (4 generous cups) torn arugula

Freshly ground black pepper

1. In a small bowl, combine the shallots and the vinegar, and set aside to steep for at least 5 minutes while you’re preparing the rest of the ingredients.

2. Combine the chicken and the cantaloupe in a serving bowl, and set aside until ready to serve.

3. When ready to serve, whisk the oil into the vinegar mixture to make a smooth emulsion. Season with a pinch of salt.

4. Add the arugula to the chicken and cantaloupe. Pour dressing over the mixture and stir gently to ensure that everything is evenly coated. Finish with a good grinding of freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Each serving: 161 calories; 15 grams protein; 9 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 7 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 43 mg cholesterol; 7 grams sugar; 96 mg sodium.

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