Walnut & Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Salad

>> Wednesday, May 18, 2011

This recipe is based on one of my favorite salads at a great restaurant here in Austin called Z Tejas. I love Z Tejas and could eat there everyday, but Andrew isn't a huge fan so we rarely ever go there. Sigh. So I decided to bring Z Tejas to my table and came up with a pretty good copycat recipe for their Parmesan-Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Walnut & Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Salad - serves 2 to 3 for a main course
inspired by Z Tejas

for the chicken
2 T olive oil
2 chicken breasts, pounded to an even 1/2-inch thickness
flour, for dredging
1 egg, beaten
3/4 c walnuts
3 T Parmesan
salt and pepper

for the salad and dressing
4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped, fat reserved for dressing
spinach and/or mixed spring greens
2 handfuls of cherry or grape tomatoes
2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
1 small avocado, diced
1/2 cucumber, seeded and sliced
1 small shallot, chopped
2 T apple cider vinegar
1/2 t sugar
1/4 t dijon mustard
salt and pepper

For the chicken: Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. In a food processor, finely chop walnuts and parmesan together. Pour onto a plate and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour flour onto another plate and pour the beaten egg into a shallow bowl. Dredge the chicken breasts in the flour, dip into the eggs and then press both sides of chicken into walnut-parmesan mixture to completely coat. Repeat with second chicken breast. Slide chicken into saute pan and cook for 5 minutes. Flip chicken and cook another 5-7 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink. Take chicken off heat and let cool for a few minutes and then slice.

For the dressing: Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat 2 T bacon fat over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook 3-5 minutes, or until softened. Using a whisk, stir in vinegar, sugar, dijon, salt and pepper until well incorporated.

For the salad: Arrange spinach and/or mixed greens on a dinner plate. Top with crumbled bacon, tomatoes, goat cheese, avocado, cucumber, and sliced chicken. Pour desired amount of dressing over salad and serve.


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