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Romaine Salad with Chicken, Cheddar, Apple, and Spiced Pecans with Cranberry Vinaigrette

September 9, 2011

This is one of my absolute favorite salads…it might be tied for first place with caesar salad, but that’s a tough call.

boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or leftover cooked chicken)

romaine lettuce, torn in bite-sized pieces

sharp cheddar cheese, cubed

Granny Smith apple, sliced thin

red onion, sliced thin

dried cranberries

cranberry vinaigrette

spiced pecans

Chicken:

Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.  Add chicken and cook until browned on one side (about 3 minutes). Flip it over, add ½ cup water, cover and cook 5 to 7 minutes (until the thickest part is 160 degrees F). Let it cool a little before slicing on the bias.

Vinaigrette (this makes about 1 ¼ cups; I usually make a half recipe):

¼ cup cranberry juice (can substitute water if necessary)

¼ cup dried cranberries

¼ cup raspberry vinegar (can substitute red wine vinegar)

1 shallot, peeled and chopped

1 garlic clove, pressed

2 tsp fresh thyme

2 tsp Dijon mustard

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine cranberries and juice in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 1 min.  Put the hot mixture in a blender with the rest of the ingredients (except oil).  Blend until finely chopped and then while the blender is running, slowly add the oil and blend until smooth.

Spiced Pecans (these are SO good…it’s hard not to eat them all before they make it to the salad):

2 Tbsp butter

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

½ tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/8 tsp ground allspice

2 cups pecan halves

1 Tbsp sugar

Melt butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium low heat. Sir in the spices, then the pecans. Toast,stirring often until the color of the pecans deepens slightly, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, toss with sugar and spread on a plate to cool.

Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen’s The Best 30-Minute Recipe.

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From → Main Dishes, Salads

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