Grilled Chicken and Pecan Salad
Nutty, sweet, bitter and tart elements combine well in this meal-size salad. Substitute walnuts or almonds for pecans, but be sure to use walnut oil in the dressing – it contributes a great deal of flavor.
- 2 pounds chicken breast, boneless, skinless
- 2¼ teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
- 2¼ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 1 teaspoon thyme (fresh), chopped
- 2 teaspoons walnut oil
- 4 cups arugula, torn, rinsed and dried
- 3 cups mixed greens, rinsed and dried
- 2 Belgian endive heads, thinly sliced
- 2 granny smith apples, cored and thinly sliced
- ½ cup pecans, toasted
- Spray the grill or broiler rack with nonstick spray and preheat. Season each chicken breast with ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Grill or broil the chicken 5 inches from the heat, turning occasionally, until cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F, about 10-12 minutes. Allow chicken to cool before thinly slicing it on a diagonal.
- Bring the cider to a boil in a small saucepan and simmer until it reduces by two-thirds, about 5 minutes. Transfer the cider to a bowl; add the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, thyme, and the remaining salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in the oil.
- Combine the arugula, mixed greens and endive in a large bowl; add the apples and half of the dressing, and gently toss to coat. Arrange the salad on plates and top with the chicken and pecans. Drizzle the chicken with the remaining dressing and serve at once.
Note: If desired, add 2 teaspoons of blue cheese to each salad for an added layer of complexity.