Chicken Pesto Salad

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

▪ Chicken breasts — 1.33 lbs
▪ Romaine lettuce — 2 hearts
▪ Granny Smith apple, sliced — 1 med
▪ Pecans – ½ cup
▪ Red or orange bell pepper, sliced thin – ½ med
▪ Blue cheese, crumbled — 1/2 cup
▪ Croutons — 1/2 cup
▪ Pesto dressing/marinade — 1 cup
▪ Canola oil

1. Rinse chicken and marinate in ¼ cup of pesto dressing. Chicken should be at room temperature before cooking.

2. Cut off stems and remove outer leaves of romaine lettuce. Tear into chunks and place in a bowl or container in the refrigerator with a damp paper towel or dishtowel over the top.

3. Preheat large frying pan. Remove chicken from marinade and pat as dry as possible with paper towels or a clean dishtowel.

4. Add a thin layer of olive oil to coat bottom of pan. Add chicken breasts, leaving space between them so they don’t steam. Cook on high until cooked a little more than half way through.

Lower heat if the oil starts to smoke. If there is liquid in the pan, keep heat high and keep pan uncovered to evaporate. If pan is dry, add a little more olive oil.

Note: Don’t move the chicken around in the pan. When it is done cooking on a side, it should release from the pan without sticking.

5. If it has cooked a little more than half way through, add a little more oil to pan and flip chicken over onto oiled surface. Depending on how thick it is, it should only need to cook a few more minutes on the other side.

6. When chicken is still a tiny bit pink in the middle, remove chicken from pan and place on a plate. If using a meat thermometer, take the chicken out of the pan when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Cover with foil and let rest for about 5 min.

7. While chicken is resting, take romaine lettuce out of fridge, add apples, pecans, pepper strips and blue cheese, and toss in pesto dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste.

8. Cut chicken breasts into strips. Serve salad, top with chicken strips and croutons.

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