Fruit Festival Chicken Salad

Fruit Festival Chicken with Rice Salad-low cropped

This recipe may look daunting but it’s really just multiple meal components put together as a salad.
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

Chicken and Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 medium, very ripe, yellow peaches or nectarines, cut into small chunks
  • 1 white or yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoon butter (divided)
  • 2 tablespoon butter (divided)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 8-12 chicken breast “tenders” or strips (2-3 per serving)
  • 1 Cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 bag mixed salad greens
  • 4 pieces of firm-ripe stone fruit (a mix of colors is good –yellow flesh nectarines, white flesh peaches, red or green plumcots)
  • 6-8 large, fresh basil leaves, cut into very thin strips
  • ½ to 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (any type)
  • 2 Cups prepared brown rice, quinoa, or cous cous.

Vinaigrette Ingredients:

  • ½ Cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup.
  • Dash of garlic salt

Directions

  • Cook rice, quinoa, or cous cous according to package directions – set aside to cool (or use pre-cooked rice).
  • Made salad dressing – Whisk vinegars, Dijon mustard, garlic salt and honey together in deep bowl. Drizzle olive oil in while whisking to combine. Alternatively, place all salad dressing ingredients in clean glass jar
  • with lid and shake well to combine. Shake again just before dressing salad.
  • Heat large frying pan over medium-high heat. Salt and pepper chicken. Add 1 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp oil to pan, then add chicken. Sear chicken just until lightly browned, then flip to brown other side. Chicken does not need to be cooked through at this point, just nicely seared. Chicken may need to be cooked in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Remove chicken to another plate and set aside.
  • Add remaining butter and oil to the pan, then add sliced onions. Cook, stirring occasionally until onions are very soft. Add peaches/nectarines to pan, continue cooking until fruit starts to break down and get very soft. If onion and peaches start to burn, add a small amount of the chicken broth to the pan to cool it down.
  • When onions are soft and slightly browned, add chicken broth, Dijon mustard, pepper flakes and a dash of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Return chicken to the pan (do not re-use the plate that held the partially-cooked chicken). Continue cooking chicken in the sauce, pan uncovered, until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through – about 8-10 minutes for chicken tenders, longer for thighs or breasts. (If sauce reduces too much before chicken is done, more chicken broth can be added. Or if the chicken cooks quickly, before the sauce has thickened, remove the chicken and continue to simmer sauce).
  • While chicken and sauce simmers, make salad. Cut fruit into bite-size chunks. Place in salad bowl and toss with shredded basil and 1 tablespoon vinegar. This marinates the fruit a little bit and also helps to keep it from getting dry. Place the salad greens and feta cheese on top of the fruit. Do not toss yet.
  • Once the sauce has reduced and thickened, allow it to cool for approx. 10 minutes, then assemble the plates for serving: Add salad dressing to salad (may not need the entire amount of dressing prepared). Toss to combine. Divide salad among four large plates. Place ¼ of the rice in the center of each plate, on top of the salad. Then place a serving of chicken on top of the rice, spooning the peach/onion sauce over the top of the chicken.
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