I've created many, many recipes for various cooking contests. I've worked hard at inventing dishes that are satisfying, delicious, and beautiful. They almost feel like my offspring. So, I should love them all equally, shouldn't I? Shouldn't I? But I don't. (The recipes that is, not my offspring.) Some of them I will never make again. Don't worry-I won't post them here. I'll save my rah-rah-rah favorites for my loyal readers. I don't mean to be partial, but I especially smile upon this recipe. It wasn't a first place winner (5th place, green ribbon), but by golly, it sure is good. I love the pears, blue cheese, and spicy pecans together, but you should feel free to use any seasonal fruit with a nice strong cheese of your choosing. You might as well double the spiced pecans and dressing; I'm sure you'll be making this one again before you can say "Scandalously Good."
Crispy Chicken Salad with Sugared Pecans, Blue Cheese, and Pears
Estimated Cost for 4 servings: $9.50
1 pounds chicken tenders
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 eggs, beaten
1 cups panko
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 bags (10 oz.) mixed baby greens
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 Bosc pears, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup Danish blue cheese, crumbled (2 oz.)
Dressing: recipe follows
Sugared Pecans: recipe follows
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. In medium bowl, place eggs. In another bowl, place panko. Place oil in large heavy skillet over medium high heat. Dip chicken first in eggs, then in panko. Add to pan and cook until brown on all sides, about 6 minutes. Remove chicken with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. In large bowl, toss greens, onion, pears and cheese. Add just enough Dressing to coat well. Arrange greens on 6 plates. Top with chicken tenders and Sugared Pecans. Drizzle with additional Dressing and pass remainder. Makes 6 servings.
Dressing: In blender container, place 1/4 cup chopped pecans, 1/8 cup maple syrup, 5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 cup vegetable oil. Process until creamy; transfer to small bowl and set aside.
Sugared Pecans: In medium frypan over medium high heat, melt 1/4 cup sugar. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup lightly toasted pecans. Stir until nuts are well coated, then transfer to plate lined with wax paper coated with cooking spray. When cool, break into pieces and set aside.