Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Strawberry Salad with Pecan Crusted Chicken

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A few weeks ago, after a pregnancy induced NEED for fruit compelled me to buy a huge container of strawberries from Costco, I made this salad. Completely made up on the fly…well not really, I mean my step-mom makes the best dressing for her Strawberry Spinach salad, so I used that for the dressing. The rest, well that was all made up.

If I remember right, that week was beautiful…summer weather on the brink of spring and this was definitely a taste of summer. Adding the pecan crusted chicken turned this salad into something that was entrĂ©e worthy in our house. The hubs will do salad for dinner as long as there is enough substance on the salad. I also served this with a demi loaf of whole wheat french bread lathered with butter so that may have helped too!

Everything comes together really easily and you can have dinner ready in under 30 minutes, even with all the cutting, dredging, and assembling. Not only is it relatively easy to throw together but it’s delicious as well! Can’t wait for summer to be here.

Strawberry Salad with Pecan Crusted Chicken
Serves 2

Spinach (as much as you want), chopped up
Romaine, thinly sliced and chopped
2 stalks of celery sliced thin
4-5 large strawberries (about 3/4 C thinly sliced)
1/4 C slivered almonds, toasted

1 pound of chicken breasts, fileted (leaves you with four thin pieces if you start with two breasts like we did)
6 Ritz crackers
1/4-1/2 C of pecans, toasted
3 T olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Mix together in a salad dressing container or pyrex measuring cup.
1/4 C Olive Oil
2-3 T of Sugar, add more if necessary
2 T vinegar (apple cider or white will work)

1. Start out by prepping and cooking the chicken. Filet the breasts in half; they end up thinner. Remove any fat and set aside.

2. Chop up the crackers and pecans. I use our food processor to do this job really quick. You want this as fine as you can get it. Once ground pour into bowl and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine

3.  Place chicken one piece at a time into the crumbs, completely covering it. Repeat with additional pieces.

4. Heat 3 T olive oil on medium heat in a fry pan. If you don’t use a non-stick fry pan you will end up needing more oil to keep the chicken from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is heated place 1-2 pieces of chicken into the oil. Cook until the one side is brown and flip to cook through. Approximately 7 minutes. Repeat until finished. Set aside on paper towels to drain off any extra oil.

5. Assemble the salad ingredients in a large bowl; spinach, romaine, celery, almonds, and strawberries. Toss the salad with the dressing. Place on plates and top with sliced chicken.

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