For the longest time whenever I pictured a salad it was just a bland side salad that only really tasted good because it was doused in ranch dressing. And gorgonzola on a salad would never cross my mind. Perhaps that is why I would always turn up my nose whenever my wife would suggest salad for dinner. My canned response was that salad was not a meal. It was an afterthought on the side that you put on your plate if you had extra room.
How very wrong I was. My eyes were not yet opened. It took time to realize how much variety was possible with the simple salad. Instead of thinking just about the greens of the salad, think of all the toppings and what makes the salad unique. I mean, a salad with a fried and breaded chicken breast on top. Delicious.
I also did not approve of blue cheese for the longest time but came to my senses on that as well all because of one delicious meal. But that’s a story for another day.
Frying for Gorgonzola Pear Salad?
This will win no awards as the world’s healthiest salad. But I’m ok with that. Just look at that chicken up there in the photo. Breaded, pan-fried, delicious. Make sure to flatten the chicken to a relatively even thickness. This ensures that it will cook through evenly and will be fully cooked before any of the breadcrumbs start to burn. I actually had an extra breaded chicken breast from this recipe and had that for lunch the next day with just a squeeze of fresh lemon on top.
Heat and salads don’t typically mix. Greens like to wilt with higher temperatures. However, it is best to serve this salad with the chicken still warm. Not straight off the pan, you will need it to cool down enough to handle and slice. And at that point, it is ready to be served.
Salads really are all about how the different ingredients play off of each other for balance and this one has a perfect mix of fresh, sweet, creamy, salty, and crispy. So, bust out your salad bowl, get out your largest frying pan, and enjoy a homemade salad.
Gorgonzola Pear Salad with ChickenCourse: SaladsDifficulty: Intermediate
Salad with a tangy gorgonzola punch, pan-fried breaded chicken, and sweet juicy pears.
1 clove of garlic
1 small shallot
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Breaded Chicken
2 cups panko bread crumbs
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 chicken breasts
2 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 ripe red Anjou pears
1 cup walnuts
3 ounces crumbled gorgonzola cheese
10 ounces arugula (or other mixed greens)
- Make the dressing by blending together the first 8 ingredients, then pour into a container and chill until ready to serve the salad.
- Pound chicken to 1/2 inch thick. I put mine in a gallon Ziploc and then used the flat side of a meat tenderizer to flatten the chicken.
- Prepare dredges for breading the chicken by getting three wide bowls or plates and putting the breadcrumbs in one, whisking the two eggs together in another, and mixing the flour, salt, and pepper together in the third.
- Coat chicken in flour on both sides, dip into the egg mixture to cover, and then crust it in breadcrumbs. Place the chicken aside on a plate. Repeat for all of the chicken.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. Add 2 pieces of coated chicken and fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side. Place on a plate with paper towels. Repeat with the other two chicken breasts using remaining butter and olive oil.
- Once the chicken has cooled enough to touch, cut into 1/2 inch slices.
- Core and slice pears.
- Assemble the salad in a large bowl with a bed of arugula, pears, blue cheese, and walnuts. Add chicken and drizzle with dressing.