Friday, July 17, 2009
Pistachio Chicken Salad with Goat Cheese Medallions - Foodie Friday
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...The only people who have been to the Pillsbury Bake-Off more often than Shirley DeSantis are members of the Pillsbury family. Amateur cooks who enter cooking contests call themselves contesters. Shirley is a bit of a legend among contesters. She has been to all of the major competitions, some of them multiple times. That's no easy feat and it's a tribute to her creativity and skill in the kitchen. I met Shirley several years ago and was immediately charmed by her easy manner and unique style. She has been my go-to person ever since. Shirley has three recipes that have made the winner's list at the Gold Kist Chicken competition. Today's lovely salad is one of them. Shirley has taken a handful of readily available ingredients and produced a different and delicious salad that is perfect for warm summer evenings. There are no tricks here. The chicken is refrigerated before cooking to set the crumb coat, so be forewarned that there is some wait time to be dealt with. The only other caution is to make sure you don't overcook the chicken. If you're hesitant to use pistachios replace them with toasted almonds. Here's Shirley's recipe.
Pistachio Chicken Salad with Goat Cheese Medallions...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Shirley DeSantis and Pilgrim's Pride Chicken
4 boneless, skinless split chicken breasts
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dry Italian-style breadcrumbs, divided
3/4 chopped pistachios, divided
Purchased Roasted Garlic or Creamy Italian salad dressing, divided
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 logs (3.5 ounces each) Chevre (goat cheese)
4 - 5 cups mixed salad greens or baby spinach
1) Place chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap and pound lightly with meat mallet to even thickness. Line shallow baking pan with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
2) Combine 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup pistachios in shallow dish. Place 1/4 cup salad dressing in another shallow dish. Dip chicken breast in salad dressing to coat, drain off excess and then dredge in pistachio mixture. Repeat with remaining breasts. Place breasts in single layer on prepared baking pan. Refrigerate 15 to 20 minutes to set the breading.
3) To prepare goat cheese medallions, combine remaining 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs with remaining 1/2 cup pistachios and pepper in shallow dish. Place 1/4 cup salad dressing in another shallow dish. Cut each log of goat cheese into six equal slices for a total of 12. Dip cheese medallion in dressing and then dredge in pistachio mixture, turning to coat all sides. Repeat with all cheese medallions. Place in single layer on plate, cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 10 to 15 minutes. May be prepared ahead and refrigerated for at least one hour.
4) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake chicken 20 to 25 minutes or until temperature on meat thermometer reaches 160 degrees F or juices run clear when pierced with knife.
5) To make warm goat cheese medallions, preheat grill pan over medium high heat and spray with cooking spray. Add medallions, lower heat to medium-low and grill about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Outside of medallions should be crispy while inside remains soft and creamy. May be cooked in heavy skillet instead of grill pan.
6) To serve, toss salad greens with desired amount of remaining dressing. Divide among four plates. Top each salad with sliced chicken breast and garnish with three warm goat cheese medallions. Yield: 4 servings.
Here is the link to the Pilgrim's Pride Recipe website.
This recipe is being linked to Designs By Gollum - Foodie Friday