Oh goodness. I don’t even know how to begin telling you how absolutely delicious this salad is. The only thing I can think to say is that it was so good I was craving it for dessert. Really.
Chicken breasts coated in a pecan, sesame seed, flour mixture – pan-fried til crisp and then baked in the oven. Served over a bed of salad greens, apple slices, red onion, dried cranberries and almonds. All of that drizzled with a simple Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette. It’s heaven on a plate I tell you!
My three year old son had three helpings, and gobbled up every last drop of everything. I think this will become a regular at our table when we want something a little lighter but still with the warmth and feel of fall.
As you can see there are no cranberries in the salad pictured, but they are listed in the ingredients below. That’s because both me and my grocery store were lacking in the cranberry department. But I just know they would be perfect in this salad and will be adding them next time.
This is even tasty as leftovers (with everything stored separately). I ate it the next day while the chicken was cold and I thought it was just as delicious as when it was fresh. So, if you wanted to make the chicken ahead and pack this for lunch throughout the week that would be a very viable and tasty option.
I have no problems eating salad for dinner when it tastes this good. If you get tired of all the heavy fall food I encourage you to give this recipe a try.
Pecan Crusted Chicken & Apple Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
For the assembly of the salad I don’t have an exact measurement of ingredients because my family likes to make and customize the amounts on their own. Feel free to pre-assemble the salad or leave the ingredients separately for people to make their own.
Pecan Crusted Chicken
- 4 chicken breasts, flattened slightly
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 3/4 teaspoon paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Place coating ingredients in a food processor and process until pecans are finely ground, transfer to a shallow dish. Alternatively you can chop the pecans finely by hand and simply mix the ingredients together.
Coat chicken in milk and then in coating mixture. Pan-fry in a small amount of oil, in a large non-stick skillet, until coating is crisp and golden. Transfer to a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.
Allow to cool slightly before slicing on a diagonal. Or, refrigerate once completely cool for use later.
Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Whisk together vinegar, syrup and salt. Whisk in oil, in a steady stream, until combined.
- mixed salad greens
- 2 apples, thinly sliced
- red onion, sliced
- dried cranberries
- pecan crusted chicken, sliced
- sliced almonds
- maple balsamic vinaigrette
Place salad greens on a plate. Top with apples, onion and cranberries. Place a chicken breast on top and sprinkle with almonds. Drizzle with vinaigrette just before serving.
Pecan Crusted Chicken recipe adapted from Taste of Home.