Monday, April 18, 2011

Orange-Pecan Baked Chicken and Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Well, it's snowing today.  It's April 18.  I feel like I should go back to soup or something 'wintry'.  However, last week, when it was warm and sunny and we were playing outside, I was preparing nice, light spring dishes.  So that's what you get today.  Maybe it will help you forget this snowy nonsense going on.  I think I'll keep all my blinds closed today and dream of warm sun and eat salad.

Orange-Pecan Baked Chicken: 
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6 thin-sliced chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten with a splash of water
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1 cup pecans, finely chopped in a food processor
1 orange, zested

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Set up 3 shallow dishes (pie plates work great), placing flour in the first, eggwash in the second, and bread crumbs, pecans, and orange zest in the third.  Lightly grease a baking sheet.

Dredge chicken first in flour, then coat with eggwash, letting excess drip off, then dredge in pecan mixture, being sure it is fully coated on both sides.  Place on prepared baking sheet, and repeat with remaining chicken breasts.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, until juices run clear and chicken is cooked completely through.

Orange Vinaigrette
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp finely minced garlic
1/4 cup finely minced parsley
1/2 tsp finely minced ginger, if desired
1 tsp soy sauce, if desired

Combine juice and vinegar in small glass bowl.  Slowly pour in olive oil, whisking constantly until combined.  Add garlic and parsley, and ginger and soy sauce if desired.  Keeps well for up to one week in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.  Separation will occur, simply whisk back together.

6-8 cups spring green mix, baby spinach, or a combination
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup toasted, chopped pecans

Combine salad ingredients, and divide among serving plates.  Add cooked chicken, and serve with orange vinaigrette.  Great served with sourdough bread.

Yield: 6 servings
Source: chicken adapted from Bethany Dill, originally from Rachael Ray

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