Friday, May 3, 2013

Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad

This is another fantastic entree salad.  I always feel so good having a big salad for dinner, don't you?  This salad is loaded with textures and delicious flavors.  Even better, the chicken is actually served cold, so you can prep everything ahead of time!  You can easily use chicken breasts, but I use Gardein to make it vegetarian, and let me tell you, it's wonderful even for my meat-eating relatives.  This recipe uses a simple yet very flavorful balsamic vinaigrette that is whipped up in your blender in a matter of seconds.  This meal will be in permanent rotation in my house for sure.  I hope it will be for you too!  :)


Pecan Crusted Chicken
4 chicken breasts (pounded to about 1/2" thick) or Gardein Chick'n Scallopini
1/2 C pecans, finely chopped
1/2 C panko
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
3/4 C milk
1/2 C flour
1/2 C coconut oil (for frying)

Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/2 C canola oil
1/2 C olive oil
1/3 C balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 large head romaine, chopped
1/2 C dried cranberries
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 C pecans, finely chopped
1/3 C celery, thinly sliced
4-5 mandarin oranges (or Cuties), peeled and separated
1/4 C blue cheese


  1. Start with the chicken since that is served cold.  Place the flour in a shallow bowl.  Whisk together the eggs and milk in another shallow bowl.  Combine the chopped pecans, panko, and salt in a third shallow bowl.  Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Dredge the chicken in the flour, then the egg, then coat in the pecan mixture.  Working in batches, if necessary, cook the chicken until golden brown on both sides, about 7 minutes total.  Set aside to cool.
  2. While the chicken is cooling, make the dressing.  Combine everything in a blender, except for the garlic.  Blend on a low speed for only a few seconds.  If you blend too long, the dressing will be very thick.  Pour into a small bowl and mix in the garlic.  Chill until ready to serve.  
  3. To plate the salad, combine the romaine and celery.  Toss with about 1/3 C dressing.  Transfer to individual plates or bowls for serving.  Sprinkle with cranberries, chopped pecan, and a pinch of brown sugar.  Top with orange slices.  Add the sliced chicken on top and finish with some blue cheese.  

Inspired by TGI Friday's Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad


  1. this is one of those foods that i see at restaurants and wish i could eat! this looks so amazing!

  2. This recipe was created by Todd Wilbur for his book entitled "Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2" (Penguin/ Random House 2007)