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Herbed Chicken, Goat Cheese and Fruit Salad


Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

I just returned from a three week trip which took us through numerous western states by train and car. It was so good to get back to my kitchen, but I had to laugh at myself when it took several attempts to find needed items for cooking because I couldn’t remember where things were stored! After many heavier-than-usual meals in restaurants, I really craved something simple…made from fresh ingredients. A quick trip to our local farmers’ market provided fruit, fresh lettuce, goat cheese and chicken. I allowed the herb marinade to enhance the flavor of the chicken while I dressed each plate with a salad of goat cheese, apples and lettuce. While the chicken breasts quickly sautéed, I whisked the oil and balsamic vinegar dressing together and prepared fruit for the garnish.  Finally, I placed the warm chicken in the center of each salad, lightly drizzled the dressing, and then garnished it all with thinly sliced almonds and shaved Parmesan.  A delicious meal…and prepared in approximately 30 minutes. Yes…it is good to be home!

 

Herbed Chicken, Goat Cheese and Fruit Salad
Serves 4

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (approximately 1 lb.) each sliced horizontally into 2 pieces or 4 thinly sliced chicken breasts
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
½ tsp dried thyme leaves
¼ tsp fine sea salt
¼ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
4 oz. goat cheese
1 Fuji apple, washed, cored and cut into quarters
5 oz. mixed leaf lettuce, washed and patted dry with a towel or dried in a salad spinner
Fresh fruit such as berries or peaches, washed, dried and sliced
For garnish: thinly sliced almonds and coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
For dressing: 1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Directions:
Wash the chicken breasts and pat dry. In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, rosemary, thyme, sea salt and pepper. Place each chicken breast in the olive oil/herb marinade, turning to coat both sides, then stack the marinated chicken breasts one on top of the other in the marinade bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set the marinated chicken aside while preparing the salad.

Divide the goat cheese and crumble it evenly between four plates.  Thinly slice each apple quarter and cut each slice into 1 inch pieces and distribute the apple pieces evenly over the goat cheese on each plate. Divide the washed and dried lettuce between the plates, placing it over the apples and crumbled goat cheese. Thinly slice the washed fruit and arrange the sliced fruit around the edges of the plate to “frame” the salad. (For example, I use 2 thinly sliced strawberries per plate, 4 halved raspberries, or a quarter of a peach thinly sliced with 2 to 3 slices on each side of the plate.)

Using a nonstick skillet over medium heat, sauté the marinated chicken breasts until done, approximately 4 – 5 minutes per side…taking care not to overcook. Remove chicken from skillet and use a serrated knife to slice thinly. Divide the chicken between the plates, distributing it over the lettuce in the center of each plate.

To make the dressing, whisk the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl until completely mixed, then spoon the dressing over the chicken, fruit and lettuce.

Garnish each plate with thinly sliced almonds and coarsely shredded Parmesan cheese as desired.

 

 

 

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