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Honeycrisp Apple & Grilled Chicken Salad with Cider-Maple Vinaigrette

October 18, 2009

The leaves have been falling off the trees, and the temperature has started to drop to jacket-needing temperatures. What does this mean? Fall is here, sort of. Winter is actually starting to threaten, as we have already been dipping into our low to mid 30s in the mornings and I have already broken out my (new!) hat and gloves on several occasions. I hear we’re getting back up to temperatures in the low 60s this week, but I’ll believe it when I feel it. In any case, it is the autumn, and this is a very tasty and seasonal salad that I found on Serious Eats.

My favorite part of this salad is the sweet-tangy-salty flavor of the grilled apple slices balanced against the umami (there it is..) savory taste of the chicken and the salty finish of the shaved cheese. The dressing adds to the sweet and tangy with maple syrup, mustard, and cider vinegar while the toasted almonds seal it up with a creamy crunch. I liked this a lot, it made a great weekend lunch, and I hope you like it too!

Honeycrisp Apple & Grilled Chicken Salad with Cider-Maple Vinaigrette (Serves 2-3):

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. sugar (raw or brown preferred)
  • 2 large fresh apples (honeycrisp, cortland, something tart and crisp)
  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast, pounded to about 1/2″ thickness
  • 5 oz. baby greens or spring mix (small bag)
  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • aged smoked Gouda, shaved, to taste (or Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino)
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Core apples and slice into 1/4″ rounds. Brush with the olive oil and sprinkle both sides with the sugar. Grill for 5 minutes on a side until grill marks appear. Remove from grill and optionally season cooked apples with a few pinches of kosher salt.
  2. Cook the chicken until just finished and remove to rest for a few minutes. After chicken has cooled slightly, slice on an angle into thin slices and set aside.
  3. While chicken is cooking, prepare the vinaigrette by whisking together vinegar, mustard, syrup, salt, pepper. Whisk vigorously while adding oil in a very slow steady stream as dressing emulsifies.
  4. Toss the salad greens with the almonds and raisins and place into bowls. Top with chicken, apple slices and dressing. Add shaved cheese and optionally, more ground pepper. Serve immediately.
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