Friday, April 4, 2008
I love salads! Of course something more than just lettuce or greens. Like apples, cranberries and blue cheese. Or salsa, cheese, and tortilla chips. I haven't had a lot of salads lately. Often the question was where is the meat?
As a former vegetarian/vegan, I have no problem excluding meat. So now I'm back to salads. And yes they do include meat.
Last week, I was playing ideas in my head for a new salad. I had a craving for blue cheese, pecans, and cranberries. However, I often don't get enough meat, so I always try to have some sort of protein during the day. So I knew I needed to add that to the salad.
What did I come up with?
A pecan-encrusted chicken with cranberries and blue cheese drizzled with a raspberry vinaigrette. I had floated around the idea of a balsamic vinaigrette, but I had no Dijon mustard and no shallots. So I came up with the raspberry, which personally I loved.
It was a hit at the dinner table. Every plate was empty. I almost licked mine, but refrained. Now I need to come up with an exciting vegan meal?
Pecan Encrusted Chicken Salad with Cranberries, Blue Cheese and Raspberry Vinaigrette
1/2 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 Tbsp raspberry jelly
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Marinate the chicken in buttermilk for at least 30 minutes, can be longer. While marinating, mix pecans, bread crumbs, and spices to your liking. After marinating the chicken, encrust chicken with pecan mixture. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes.
While chicken is baking, whisk together jelly, vinegar, and oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
When chicken is done, let rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting. Mix greens, cranberries and blue cheese in bowl and then put on plates. Add chicken on top of the salad mixture, then drizzle with dressing. Serve.