Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

My biggest complaint about salads is their narrow-minded-ness, but his salad is full of flavor and crunch. When I had my restaurant this was our house salad.  Customers loved it!  The only problem I had was teaching new employees to prepare this correctly without burning it!  The cost of pecans were worth their weight in gold!  Some employees would "hide" when it was time to make the Pecan Crusted Chicken!  It's not hard at all, just takes some time and patience and the results are well worth it!! 

Recipe adapted from Cuisine at Home.

Serves 4
About an hour total

For the pecan-crusted chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts-pounded as mentioned above
2 egg whites
2 whole eggs
2 tsp cornstarch
1 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
3 tbsp canola oil for cooking

For Salad:
1/4 cup honey
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Cup of heavy Mayonnaise

8 cups mixed salad greens
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 container grape tomotes
4 oz mild cheese, crumbled (Feta, or goat cheese)
Thinly fried onion rings for garnish if desired

-Prepare chicken breasts by  pounding.
-Whisk egg whites, eggs and cornstarch in a shallow dish for dipping.
-Mix bread crumbs, parsley, salt, pepper,  pecans,  paprika and cayenne in another shallow dish, such as a pie plate.
-Dip both sides of chicken in liquid mix then into the crumb mixture. Pat crumbs on both sides of chicken-use hands to pat crumbs on and pile on top of chicken. Put coated chicken on rack to air-dry for 20-30 minutes.
-Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
-Put canola oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add chicken breasts-lay each breast in towards you so as the crumbs fall off into the pan, they create a “bed” for the chicken to rest on. Don’t worry about the crumbs that fall off, you’ll use them later. Saute chicken until golden, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip chicken and cook for another few minutes. Transfer skillet to oven to finish cooking. Roast chicken until just done, about 8 more minutes.
-Remove chicken from oven, slice on the bias and serve fanned over salad greens. Take the extra crumbs from the pan and sprinkle over the top for extra flavor. Serve with any extra dressing on the side.

To assemble the salad:
-Combine honey, mustard, lemon juice and whisk in mayo until combined. You can refrigerate up to a week
-Put the greens in a bowl and toss with the dressing-you probably won’t need all the dressing, so just use enough to coat the greens nicely. ( You can serve the dressing on the side)
-Put the onions tomatoes  and cheese on top and toss lightly.
-Divide greens evenly between 4 plates and top with sliced chicken. Sprinkle any extra crumbs on top and serve with extra dressing on the side as noted above.

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