February 8, 2012

Harvest Salad with Grilled Chicken and Candied Pecans

If you are like me, you've seen or had this salad many times for lunch at your favorite casual dining spot.  I decided to try my hand at making this sweet and savory salad at home this past Saturday.  It was quite the success.  Here's what I did and what you will need to do to enjoy this delicious salad :):

{In a 350 degree pre-heated oven, quickly toast some pecan halves in a skillet for about 5-8 minutes, or until you can smell toasty nuts, being careful not to burn them.}

{Begin to make your candy-glaze.  For every 2 cups of nuts, add to a bowl: 4-5 tablespoons of light corn syrup.}

{Next, add 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and a pinch of salt.}

{Whisk until combined.}

{Dump in your toasted pecans and mix to evenly coat them with the glaze.}

{Pour the glazed nuts onto a greased, oven safe dish and bake in an even layer at 350 for 10 minutes.}

{Season a few boneless, skinless chicken breasts for the grill.  Any spices would do for this - I used paprika, seasoned salt, chili powder, garlic and onion.}

{Heat the grill pan and get it HOT.  Sound familiar? :)}
   
{Thinly slice half of a red onion and a Granny Smith apple.  You want reeealllly thin slices.}

{Begin to grill your chicken.}

{After 10 minutes, remove your pecans from the oven.  Immediately separate with a fork and allow them to cool.}

At this point, I decided to slice and toast a French baguette to have with the salads.  With butter, of course.}

{When your chicken is perfectly cooked, remove from the grill, thinly slice and set aside.}

{The buttery and toasty bread. YUM!}

{I decided to mix blue cheese and Italian dressing for a thin-but-creamy blend.  I would have loved to add blue cheese crumbles to this too, but didn't have any on hand.  Maybe next time. :)}

{To the bottom of a large mixing bowl, add your dressing.}

{Whip / blend until combined.}

{I used a spring mix for the greens.  Spinach would be great, too!}

{Add your greens to the bowl with the dressing.}

{Add your apple slices and red onion.}

{Mix with tongs to evenly coat the greens with dressing.}

{Add a pile of greens/onions/apples to a large plate.  Top with the cooled and candied pecans.}


{Top with your sliced chicken breast, a sprinkle of dried cranberries and ENJOY}

xoxo, thanks for reading!

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