It's been another busy week in the Doughmamma household, on top of our normal craziness, we had the lovely addition of our washing machine overflowing, which wouldn't have been so bad, had it not been on the second floor. Luckily we were home and caught it in time, requiring only minimal mitigation, such as industrial fans and a few lifts of the carpet. Needless to say, our little mini disaster pushed my schedule around a bit so here is a lovely sure-fire dish for you patient and loyal readers.
This salad is easy to make, and has a lovely variety of flavors which marry well and leave you satisfied. Crispy maple chicken, tangy goat cheese, crunchy hazelnuts and roasted red peppers, this salad is a big crowd-pleaser. Dress with your favorite vinaigrette and dinner is served.
Title: Maple Chicken and Goat Cheese Salad
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Notes: If you're not accustomed to frying, cast iron pans are generally the preferred frying pan. Having a thermometer to check your temperature is helpful, you want your thermometer to read between 350 F-375 F. Long tongs are best when frying. Wear an apron to protect from splatter. If you don't want to make your own granola (you can check out my Grateful Granola recipe), most health food stores have maple granola in their bulk section and you can buy only what you need. When using Standard Breading Procedure, its helpful to use your left hand to dredge chicken in flour, egg and crumbs, while keeping your right hand dry so that you can add extra crumbs to the chicken in the last step without sticking to everything. Take your goat cheese out of the refrigerator and use when cold, otherwise it's hard to crumble at room temperature and ends up making a mess.
1 lb of skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into fillets of 4oz each
2 lg eggs
1 cup of flour
1½ cups of ground maple granola
½ cup- 1 cup of canola oil for frying,
2 heads of red leaf lettuce washed, dried and torn (or chopped)
3 oz of semi-soft goat cheese (usually in log form)
¼ cup of roasted hazelnuts
1 red pepper, roasted and sliced thin
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Set your oven to 350 F. Place a wire rack on top of a foil lined cookie sheet and set aside.
Place you flour on a large plate, next whisk your eggs in a bowl and place next to your flour, now take your ground granola and place on a large plate, making it third in a row. This order of flour, egg and granola (or breading) is called: Standard Breading Procedure. Taking one piece of chicken at a time, dredge (coat) in flour, shaking excess off. Now take your chicken and place it in the egg bowl, making sure it is well coated, shake excess off. Now, place the chicken in the granola and coat evenly, gently patting the crumbs on to the chicken. Repeat until all chicken is breaded and place on a plate.
Heat your oil in your cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When you are up to temperature, using your tongs, place each piece of chicken into the pan. Fry until golden brown and then flip.
Each side should take about 4 minutes or so, it will be going into the oven afterwards, so just work on getting the right color and it will finish baking through in the oven.
Once the chicken has been fried, place on the wire rack that's on the cookie sheet and put into the oven. It should take about another 15-20 minutes of baking time, touch the chicken to check by pushing on it gently, if it feels wiggly, it still needs time, it should feel as firm as your palm when making a fist.
Remove from oven and let rest.
While your chicken is cooling, begin filling your salad plates with lettuce. Taking the goat cheese in one hand and using a fork with the other, "scrape" out the goat cheese so it crumbles on to the lettuce. Add your roasted red peppers, Rough chop your hazelnuts and sprinkle over salads.
When the chicken has cooled for at least 5 minutes, slice and add to salads. Drizzle your preferred dressing.