Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Grilled chicken salad with mango, brie and candied pecans

Leftover grilled chicken thighs, a piece of brie and a mango that was calling out be eaten....salad time! I love making a main course salad that uses up whatever bits and pieces I have in the fridge or cupboard, but is still healthy, tasty and filling. This salad fit all of those requirements.

While the torn lettuce soaked in cold water, I peeled the mango, and cut it into matchstick sized pieces (a little bit bigger, to be truthful), and cut the chicken into the same size pieces. I thinly sliced the brie.

To make the candied pecans, I heated 1/2 cup light brown sugar, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar until the sugar melted and it bubbled.

 1 cup of pecans was added at this point, and I continued to cook it over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the pecans were well coated with the syrup.

I had pre-oiled a foil lined cookie sheet, and using 2 forks, quickly spread the nuts out to cool. Do not touch them with your fingers at this point, the caramel is HOT!!!
The nuts can be made ahead and stored in a sealed container for a few days.

The leftover chicken that I was using had been marinated in grainy mustard and maple syrup, so I made an easy salad dressing by combining 1/4 cup maple syrup, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon each of grainy mustard and dijon mustard and 1/4 cup of olive oil. I put these all in a jar, sealed it and gave it a good shake.

I dried the lettuce in a salad spinner, and tossed it with the dressing in  a large bowl, then portioned it directly onto the plates. Each salad was topped with chicken, mango, pecans and a few slices of brie.

A piece of focaccia, with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping on the side, and dinner was ready!

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