Chicken & Apple Salad

I’m posting a salad recipe on my birthday.  What is wrong  with me?  Maybe I’m subconsciously making up for the birthday cake from last week?

When I was a kid, eating out was a rare luxury.  In a family of 12 (yes, you read that right) even the simplest of food added up quickly.  Which means that Chick-fil-a was a staple and a treat, and Panera Bread?  That was pretty much fine dining.

One of their favorite menu items has always been the Fuji Apple Chicken Salad.  The dressing is the best part for me– sweet, but with a nice kick of vinegar that doesn’t set your teeth on edge.  And the apple chips.  Oh how I love them.  I made my own apple chips for inspiration’s sake, but probably wouldn’t bother again because it just wasn’t worth it.  But they really do take the salad to the next level.  

Don’t let the ingredient list fool you– this goes together quickly, and most of the work can be done ahead of time.  Marinade the chicken one day, while it’s baking make the dressing, and all you have to do at meal time is toss it all together.  Toast a little sourdough or set out a few muffins, and dinner is served!

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Fuji Apple Salad
Ingredients
  • 2-2.5 lbs. chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 2/3 cup apple juice concentrate
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 Tbsp. golden balsamic
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 large clamshell of spring greens
  • 1 cup, plus more for garnish on top apple chips
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
Instructions
In a gallon sized zipper bag combine 1/2 cup olive oil, white wine vinegar, 1 1/2 Tbsp. honey, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 2 tsp. salt, basil, and oregano. Pound or butterfly (slice horizontally so that they are thin) the chicken breasts and add to the bag. Marinade for 3-4 hours, or overnight.Preheat the oven to 375° and line a baking sheet with foil. Place the chicken on the sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until it registers 165° on an internal thermometer. Allow to cool, then slice thinly.In a blender, combine the apple juice concentrate, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 Tbsp. honey, golden balsamic vinegar, ground mustard, 1/2 tsp. salt, white pepper, and whole garlic clove. Blend until smooth.To serve, place the spring greens in a large serving bowl and toss with chicken, blueberries, 1 cup of apple chips, and almonds if using. Sprinkle the remaining blueberries and apples on the top, and serve with the dressing on the side.
Details

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 Servings

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