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Grilled Balsamic Chicken and Strawberry Salad

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.

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Cuisine
Courses ,
Time
Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 30 min Total Time: 45 mins
Servings 2
Best Season Summer
Description

A grilled balsamic chicken breast salad with fresh strawberries, apples, candied pecans and feta drizzled with a homemade strawberry balsamic vinaigrette. 

Ingredients
    Candied Pecans
  • 1/4 cup Pecans (Whole)
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon Butter
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • Salad
  • 4 cups Spring mix
  • 1/4 cup Feta
  • 1 Apple
  • 6 Strawberries
  • Vinaigrette
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Strawberry jam
  • 1 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • Balsamic Chicken
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon Oregano (dried)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • 2 Chicken breasts
Instructions
    Make the candied pecans
  1. 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.
  2. 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. 

  3. Prepare the chicken
  4. 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. 

  5. 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.
  6. Prepare the salad
  7. Cut the fruit

    Thinly slice the apple and strawberries. Cut into desired length and thickness. 

  8. 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.
  9. Assemble the salad

    Add lettuce, candied pecans, apples, strawberries, feta and sliced grilled chicken and drizzle with the vinaigrette.