Chicken and Pear Salad w/ Candied Walnuts
Time Required: 20 (1:20 total)

Blue cheese, bosc pears and candied walnuts are a winning combination here to spruce up a chicken salad.  If you really like the combination, then make extra walnuts to use in another salad and save yourself some time. To save time also do the prep work for cooking the chicken the night before or in the morning.  The picture is shown without the chicken on top because this is also a great side salad without it.  See chicken chunks and a different variation of this salad at Roasted Red Onions, Chicken and Pear Salad.


4 bone-in split chicken breast(s)
4 bosc pear(s) -- medium, cut into 1/2" by 1" pieces
1 lemon
6 cup(s) spring lettuce mix
2 oz(s) bleu cheese -- or feta
1 cup(s) walnuts -- shelled and broken
1/3 cup(s) sugar
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup(s) white wine vinegar
1/3 cup(s) olive oil
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard


Prep Work: Candy walnuts; see step #2.  Cook chicken; see step #1.

1.  Place chicken in pot and cover with water.  Add 2 tsp. salt and any broth making vegetable you have on hand like celery, onion, carrots or broccoli stems.  Simmer until cooked through, cool and cut meat in chunks.  Save broth in ziplock after it is cooled to use later.

2.  While that simmers, place walnuts, sugar and butter in a small skillet on medium-high heat.  Stir often, and when sugar melts reduce heat and stir until mixture is golden brown.  Remove from heat and place walnuts on a plate to cool using spatula to transfer. Break walnuts apart with fingers when hardened.

3.  In blender mix 1/3 c. pear pieces (for yield of 4) with vinegar, olive oil, and mustard.  Add salt and pepper to taste. (For yield of 4, 1/4 tsp. of salt and pepper each)

4.  Place cut pears in bottom of salad bowl and squeeze enough lemon juice to lightly coat all. Next layer mixed greens, crumbled cheese, walnuts and chicken chunks on top.

5.  When ready to serve, toss salad with enough dressing to lightly coat lettuce.  Pair with baked potatoes, crusty whole wheat bread or cornbread.

EVEN BETTER BASIL DRESSING:  In blender combine 1 c. olive oil, 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar, 1/4 c. maple syrup or honey, 1/4 c. fresh basil leaves, 4 garlic cloves, 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. vinegar.

OTL 2009


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