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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

Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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

40 comments :

heartnsoulcooking said...

GREAT!!! salad. I love nuts in a salad. Pistachio I have never tried, THis is a must try recipe. THANKS!!! Geri

Donna-FFW said...

This sounds wonderfully delicious and so accessible to simple cooks like me:)

How fun it must be to meet other cooking geniouses.. did I spell that right?

Rhonda @ Shellbelle's Tiki Hut said...

I have a friend in Bakersfield, California who has about a dozen pistachio trees on her property. Every year she sends me a 5-pound bag, which I keep in the freezer till I'm ready to use them (along with pecans from my friend in Texas). Sounds like it's time for a trip to the freezer!

Selba said...

It must be a wonderful chicken salad! I like eating pistachio :)

{at@Back Porch Musings said...

This looks absolutely delish!!

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

This sounds delicious. Mr. P. loves anything with nuts, I'll be looking forward to trying this one.. Thanks for sharing..
hugs ~lynne~

Terry said...

Hubs loves nuts in his salads. I am going to try this recipe soon. Thanks

The Desperate Cook said...

Yum, how good your chicken salad sounds.

Joyce said...

This truely is one perfect bite:)
Joyce

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Good Morning Mary! Thanks for sharing this morning. I love chicken salad, but I would have never thought of adding pistachios. I am going to have to try that. Usually I add walnuts or pecans, whichever I have, but pistachios, that sounds rather enticing. Hope you are having a great Friday. Please stop by and say hi. I love to see you come. Country Hugs, Sherry

Cathy said...

Hurrah! I was able to get to your blog through Gollum's. Can't wait for my new computer.

This chicken salad looks delish. I can think of all kinds of uses for the goat cheese medallions. Chevre is one of my favorite cheeses.

Lynda said...

This is a beautiful salad and it sounds delicious! Your arrangement makes for a perfect looking meal, Mary.

Donna@designson47thstreet said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this wonderful recipe. Don't you just love blogging? This looks so good, as does your blog! :)

I really thank you for your visit today. Do come again.

Christi @ A Southern Life said...

I can see why she is your go-to person. This is a great and unique recipe. Thanks!

Christi

Beverly said...

May I call in for delivery?

Wow, this looks incredible!!!

Corrinne said...

What an amazing recipe! I work with Chavrie goat cheese and this would work just great with our logs. Here is a little tip: Put the cheese in the freezer for about 15 min. before slicing. This makes it sooo much easier! Thanks for a great recipe!

lk (Healthy Delicious) said...

this looks excellent! I love goat cheese on salads.

ps- you have an award waiting for you over at my blog (on the post from yesterday)

Hootin' Anni said...

That my dear friend, looks scrumptious. How do you find time to blog and cook all in one day? You're so organized!!!

Happy Friday to you...thanks for popping by my place today. It's good to be back in the blogging neighborhood again...tho still not up to par.

Katy ~ said...

Yummm...just imagining the creamy goodness of the cheese with the saltiness of the pistachio. Splendid!

darnold23 said...

Not only are your pictures beautiful, your food is "awesome!" I just love your blog. Remember, beginning August 5, I will be hosting Crock Pot Wednesdays on diningwithdebbie.blogspot.com. I hope you will join me. THERE WILL BE PRIZES:)

Mary at My New 30 said...

Very unique and I'll bet the goat cheese & pistachios really make a difference. Are you a Pillsbury competitor??

Nicole Feliciano said...

Happy Friday! Gorgeous photo--as always! I hope you’ll stop by my Friday Feast link/recipe exchange and share this recipe.

http://momtrends.blogspot.com/2009/07/friday-feasts-couscous.html

Madam Chow said...

I just happen to have some goat cheese on hand . . . . And pistachios. Hhm. I pretty much love goat cheese anything! This looks delicious.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

...hesitant to use pistachios...no I won't be. Love pistachios and this looks gorgeous. Never mind the waiting time, I always translate that to "I can have it done ahead of time."

ChefBliss.com said...

This looks mouth watering!! And thanks for you nice comment on my red cake!!

once in a blue moon... said...

looks fabulous~

Bobbie said...

I have such a problem keeping the nuts on the chicken. Maybe I should freeze first?

Mary said...

Bobby, I actually press the nuts into the surface of the chicken and the refrigerate it to set the nuts. You can freeze but it will change your baking time. Because this is going over lettuce leaves don't strees about the nuts.

Susan said...

This looks so delicious- you always make the most elegant and scrumptious dishes. Im moving closer to you!

Tracey said...

This sounds awesome! It combines some of my favorite foods!

Libby Murphy said...

Goodness, I want a bite of that! NOW. . .it's gorgeous and I'm sure delicious.
Happy Twirls

Natashya said...

Another simple yet elegant meal, so nice for this season and colourful too!

honeysuckle said...

Wow, I can almost taste this delicious sounding recipe. I want to have it now--and it's only breakfast time!

Jamie said...

What a great recipe! And so beautifully served. I love this combo of flavors and it looks so delicious!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Mary! This sounds divine, and pistachio nuts! Oh, heaven on earth!

XO,

Sheila :-)

Debinhawaii said...

Another great combo of flavors and ingredients and a perfect summer dish!

Blue Creek Home said...

This chicken salad is a chicken salad I would love!!! It was getting time to come up with a fresh c.s. recipe...and now I have one! Thanks - and thanks for coming over.
Rhonda

Pam said...

Mmmm. I am loving this salad - it looks so tasty and pretty.

Chef Fresco said...

I love anything goat cheese. The spices look delicious! Very beautiful salad!

Bonnie said...

Wish you had done a homemade dressing with it.

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