Sometimes you just need a good chicken salad and this is it.
Baby Lady and I really like salads. More often than not, however, the salads are typically green salads with a protein served on top with an accompanying vinaigrette. Periodically, we do something different but not often. We’ve done shrimp and mango tropical salad, shrimp salad with squash ribbons, watermelon and shrimp salad and a smoked turkey salad, not to mention a few tater salads, and a veggie salad or two. Oddly enough, we have never posted a chicken salad. Now, I’m not talking about a mayonnaise based chicken salad which are great on sandwiches and stuffed in tomatoes. I’m talking about a chicken salad you can really sink your teeth into. One full of soft, moist, flavorful strips of chicken with a few veggies, some nuts and a dressing that is absolutely delicious. So, this recipe is the result of our dearth of protein salads, chicken salad in particular. Be warned, however, this recipe does take a while to prep and is best suited for the weekends when you have some time. Regardless, it is definitely worth the time and the little effort it requires. The result is a sweet but savory chicken salad with a little tang from the vinaigrette, the freshness of the bell peppers and crunchiness from the toasted walnuts. Give this a try. I assure you it won’t disappoint.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice
- 1 red bell pepper, julienned
- 1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
- 1 cup toasted walnuts pieces
- 1 red pear, sliced into 3/4 inch slices
- 1 cup rice vinegar
- 1-1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1/2 cup walnut oil
- 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup onion, diced
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 Tbsp fresh basil chopped
- 1 Tbsp fresh parsley
- 1 tsp sea salt
First things first, add the brown sugar,
and pineapple juice to a mixing bowl.
Whisk together to dissolve the brown sugar and incorporate all of the favors.
Put the chicken breasts in a sealable plastic bag or baking dish and pour the marinade over the chicken.
Seal the plastic bag or cover the chicken and marinate the chicken overnight in fridge.
While the chicken is marinating, add the parsley,
and garlic to a blender.
Blend on a medium high speed to puree and incorporate all of the ingredients. You can puree on the highest setting but I like a little texture in this type of vinaigrette.
Put in a jar, place in the refrigerator and allow flavors to meld overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place chicken breasts in a proper baking dish along with the marinade.
Place in oven and bake chicken for 30 minutes or until done.
Remove chicken from oven and allow to cool. When cool, slice chicken into strips and put in bowl along with the leftover cooled juices from the pan – strain the juices first.
Add the sliced pear
the red & yellow bell peppers
and toasted walnut pieces.
Dress with the vinaigrette.
Cover and refrigerate until cold, roughly 1 -2 hours. Serve & enjoy!
NOTES: The vinaigrette makes roughly 3 cups so there will be leftovers but this vinaigrette is perfect with simple garden salads, chicken salads, seafood salads, pork salads, you name it. It is a wonderful dressing and really deserves a post of its own but it is part of this recipe because it is truly perfect with this chicken salad.
Also, this salad is enough to feed 6 – 8 people depending upon whether it’s a lunch or a dinner. Inasmuch as there are only the 2 of us, it lasted several days and the flavors really developed after we had this salad for dinner and it sat in the fridge overnight to more fully meld and develop the flavors.
24 thoughts on “Chicken Salad with Red Pear & Bell Peppers”
Very nice, Richard! Quite a large number of ingredients, but I like the combination of flavors and textures. I suppose I would cook the chicken sous-vide, but I guess sous-vide is to me what chiles are to you if you know what I mean 😉
P.S. The honey pouring shot is missing (oregano included twice).
Thanks for the nice compliment, Stefan. This came out very nice but it does take some time. Minimal effort but lots of time.
I still haven’t quite gotten the sous vide down where I am comfortable with it. The chicken always tastes like chicken with little to no flavoring. Of course, it is perfectly cooked, flavorful chicken. 🙂
As for the ingredients, most of the ingredients are for the vinaigrette which is quite tasty. We have several cups left in the fridge and use it on salads and as a dressing for some sandwiches.
DRAT!!! I hate when that happens. Thanks for letting me know. I fixed it. 🙂
I’ll have to try that vinaigrette.
If you want tastier chicken, try thighs 🙂
I agree on the thighs but I had some breasts and needed to use them. This seemed like the perfect use for them and it turned out quite nice. 🙂
What’s with all the pouring shots? I think it is really unfair of you to use so many pourable ingredients in your recipes.
It does look awfully tasty though.
Thanks, Conor. Baby Lady was busy the day I made this so I had to show her I was capable of capturing all but one of the shots. 😉
Great salad Richard, we make something similar and it does have many ingredients, but so worth it. We eat it over days too without getting tired of it.
Thanks, Eva, for the nice compliment. 🙂 There are a lot of ingredients and it takes 2 days to do but there is very little effort involved. The end result is absolutely delicious and we ate this for 3 days. Baby Lady was sad it was gone because she knows I won’t make this for another year or so. 😮 I always like doing new and different things which means she has to wait to have some of her old favorites.
I hope you check out my ingredient laden, labourious salad too, it keeps for days because I separate the wet and dry ingredients so they don’t break down as quickly. http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/singapore-slaw-susur-lee-slaw-aka-19-ingredient-slaw/
With our summer oh so fast approaching I shall certainly copy this in haste, probably for a Sat/Sun lunch with a few friends. The dish takes a little organization but actually not that much time! Marinade + vinaigrette the previous day, just chicken on the day and it is securely in the fridge a couple of hours ere you pour the first glass of sauv blanc and hand around an olive or two! Not too heavy, everyone happy and some cheese and fruit to finish will make a memorable meal . .
Thanks, Eha. It is a perfect weekend lunch with friends and a sauv blanc would be the ideal wine to go with it.
My pregnancy like cravings for chicken LIVE ON!!!! And you are making me drool right now…. PS: I am not pregnant, lol!
Hi, GiGi. It’s good to see you around. 🙂 Thanks for the nice compliment. This is one tasty chicken salad regardless of whether you’re pregnant. 😉
Your opening sentence promised a good chicken salad, Richard, and boy did you deliver! I love the mix of ingredients that you called into play. That’s one flavorful salad. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for the very nice compliment, John. We really like this salad.
What a fantastic chicken salad! So many ingredients, yet very do-able.
Thanks for the nice compliment. 🙂
You are correct sir, I’m always looking for a good chicken salad. Yours looks like the one!
Thanks, Sheryl. We really enjoyed this one. 🙂
There’s nothing quite like a good chicken salad. This one sounds fabulous!!!
First I have to object to this recipe; I have little time to spare, but this reads too well to pass on. Well, moving on: I assume the black pepper, thyme, basil, & sea salt are vinaigrette ingredients.
Oops. Yes. I didn’t get a shot of the salt and black pepper. Those are added to the vinaigrette at the end, to taste. Sorry about that. I will fix it. Thanks for letting me know.