I will readily admit that I’m not the cook in my relationship. I can cook and do on occasion, but by and large my boyfriend handles that part. When I do cook, maybe because of the fact that it’s not an everyday occurrence, I like to get as creative as possible. Last night, I made a salad (that I personally think is a keeper). It has some fantastic flavours within it – sweet, caramelized pears juxtaposed with blue cheese, and Dijon chicken breast. It’s the perfect meal for a warm summer night, best enjoyed on a balcony or in a backyard.
What You’ll Need (Ingredients):
2 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
2 large, ripe Bartlett pears (halved, cored and thinly sliced)
Blue cheese (crumbled)
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 medium shallot, minced
1 cup olive oil
Honey (to taste)
Baby arugula (or mixed greens or lettuce)
Walnuts, roasted (optional)
What to Do:
For Chicken Breast
1. In a bowl, mix together 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 tbsp Dijon mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil and half the minced shallot.
2. In a Ziploc bag, place your chicken breasts and the mixture above, close, and shake well to coat.
3. Leave overnight in your fridge, or at least for a few hours to allow for the chicken to marinade.
4. Set oven temperature to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. While oven heats up, pan sear the chicken breast for about a minute on each side, in an oven-friendly pan. Place the pan with the chicken into the oven and allow to cook for 20 minutes (or until juices run clear).
5. Remove from oven, slice, and allow to cool.
For the Salad:
1. In a bowl, mix together 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil and half the minced shallot. Set aside.
2. Heat a tsp of olive oil in a pan over medium-low heat. While pan heats, carefully coat each pear slice with enough honey to thinly cover both sides.
4. Place the coated pear slices into the heated pan and allow to fry until they are slightly caramelized on both sides.
5. Coat arugula in the olive oil/Dijon/shallot mixture until it is well covered.
6. Plate a handful of arugula with the chicken overtop and the pears on the side. Sprinkle with blue cheese and walnuts to taste.