Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Apple, Bacon & Pecan Chicken Salad with Maple Pecan Vinaigette

The PLAN part of Dinner Plan-it came into play for this recipe! Grilling or BBQing in our house always means throwing on a little extra for later in the week.  Who doesn't love a quick meal that can be assembled at the last minute, doesn't look and feel like plain old leftovers and is absolutely delish?!  

That Spatchcocked Chicken that was posted recently?  Yep, part of the plan for this salad. Tuesday's dinner of fire-roasted poblano pepper burgers and corn on the cob were planned into the salad, too.  What luck!  I had an extra avocado from Poblano Burger Night, too.  The plan was coming together!

All that was needed was to saute the bacon and toast the pecans right in the same pan, arrange the salad, whisk up a quick and easy vinaigrette and dinner isn't just a plan, it's on the table quick as a wink.  Here's how to do it.

 Apple, Bacon & Pecan Chicken Salad 
with Maple Pecan Vinaigrette

Serves 2

  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce leaves, mixed red & green
  • 1/2 cup pecans, whole
  • 3 slices bacon, thick sliced, 12" across, fried crisp
  • 1 Apple, Gala or other crisp & pretty one
  • fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons bleu cheese, crumbles
  • 1 chicken breast, roasted, sliced across the grain
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1 poblano pepper, roasted, blackened skin removed and seeded - sliced

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, grade B - it has more flavor!
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Saute bacon until crisp; remove with slotted spoon & drain.  Saute the pecans in the bacon fat.  Remove.

On two plates, arrange 1/2 the spinach & half the Romaine on each plate.  Top with apple slices in a sunburst.  Arrange slices of avocado and roasted poblano pepper alternately; squeeze lemon juice over both.  Arrange 1/2 the chicken slices around the salad.  Sprinkle with bacon & pecans.  Mound bleu cheese in the center and drizzle with the vinaigrette.

Vinaigrette:  Mix olive oil, balsamic, maple syrup, granulated garlic, pepper & salt.  Whisk well.

NOTE: You don't have to do an arranged salad...make it easier and chop the chicken, apples, veggies, etc. and mix lightly together.  Top lettuce and spinach with the mixture and drizzle with dressing.  Easy!

Instead of apple, try grilled peaches, pears, mango or even orange slices!

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