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Toasted-Pecan Chicken Salad

August 2006
Toasted-Pecan Chicken Salad

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Makes: 4 servings

Prep: 20 mins

Cook: 10 mins

Ingredients
  • 1 cup pecan halves (4 ounces)
  • 4 chicken breast cutlets (about 3/4 pound), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup packed basil leaves
  • Zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 tablespoon juice
  • 2 ripe pears, cut into small cubes
  • 1 7 ounce bag  of salad greens
Directions
  1. In a nonstick skillet, toast the pecans over medium heat, tossing frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a bowl.
  2. Season the chicken with salt. In the nonstick skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and cook the chicken pieces, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the remaining 1/3 cup of olive oil with the basil, lemon zest, lemon juice and 1/3 cup of the pecans and blend until smooth; season the pesto dressing to taste with salt.
  4. In a medium bowl, toss the cooked chicken, pears and the remaining toasted pecans with half of the dressing. In a large bowl, toss the salad greens with the remaining dressing. Divide the greens among 4 plates and top with the pecan-chicken mixture.
Tip PAIR WITH:
  • King Estate Signature Pinot Gris 2005 (Oregon)
Tip Swap it
  • Use pine nuts, walnuts or almonds in place of the pecans.