Looking for your new favorite summer salad? If so, give this grilled balsamic chicken with fresh strawberries, apples, candied pecans and feta drizzled with a homemade strawberry balsamic vinaigrette a try! What I love about it is the harmony of flavor and textures. You have the freshness from the strawberries, crispness from the apple, crunch, salty and sweetness from the candied pecans, and a creamy tang from the feta cheese.
I like serving this salad with spring lettuce but arugula also works beautifully.
Grilled Balsamic Chicken and Strawberry Salad
A grilled balsamic chicken breast salad with fresh strawberries, apples, candied pecans and feta drizzled with a homemade strawberry balsamic vinaigrette.
Make the candied pecans
Candy the pecans
In a cold dry pan add the pecans, sugar and butter. Bring the heat to medium and continually mix. Once the butter and sugar are melted continue cooking until it turns golden.Be careful, it will go from done to burnt in seconds.
Cool the pecans
Once the pecans turn golden quickly transfer to a foil lined surface. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and allow to completely cool.
Once cool, break the pecans apart.
Prepare the chicken
Prepare the marinade
Combine all the ingredients for the marinade. In a ziploc bag or large bowl, add the chicken and pour over the marinade and mix. Let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes or overnight for best results.
Grill the chicken
Allow the chicken to rest at room temperature for 50-20 minutes. This will ensure even cooking.
Bring a grill pan to medium-high heat and allow to get hot for 10 minutes. Carefully brush with vegetable oil to prevent the chicken from sticking.
Grill each side of the chicken for 6 minutes. Transfer the grill pan to preheated 400 degree oven to finish cooking. It is done once the internal temperature is 165.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes while preparing the salad.Depending on the thickness of the chicken it may or may not need to finish in the oven. Finish cooking in the oven will prevent the chicken from drying out and overcooking on the stove.
Prepare the salad
Cut the fruit
Thinly slice the apple and strawberries. Cut into desired length and thickness.
Prepare the vinaigrette
In a glass jar or plastic container add the oil, vinegar, strawberry jam and salt. Shake vigorously to emulsify.This is a cheater emulsification and will not last. If the oil starts to separate simply shake again before serving. It will last in the fridge for a couple days if there are leftovers.
Assemble the salad
Add lettuce, candied pecans, apples, strawberries, feta and sliced grilled chicken and drizzle with the vinaigrette.