Chicken salad with honey crisp apples, toasted almonds & cheddar

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Yield: 4 Salads

4 ea. chicken breasts, about 3-4oz each, flattened slightly
To taste Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. olive oil
½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 large head Bibb lettuce, torn in bite size pieces (about 6oz. weight)
2 cups arugula
1 rib celery, thinly sliced
1 ea. honey crisp apple, thinly sliced (at the last minute)
1 recipe apple cider vinaigrette (recipe follows)
¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted

1. Heat a non-stick skillet with a lid over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides, add the olive oil to the pan and sear the breasts until golden. Turn, sear the other side, cover and remove from the heat. The chicken will finish cooking in the hot pan. Be sure to check for doneness before serving.

2. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a Silpat or a non-stick baking sheet, fill a 3” circle cutter with 2 Tbsp grated cheddar and pat down lightly; lift the cutter off carefully. Repeat three more times. Bake approx. 15 minutes until golden brown. Leave crisps on the pan to cool.

3. Toss the lettuce with the celery, apple and some of the vinaigrette, adding a pinch of kosher salt. Divide lettuce mixture between four plates or mound on a platter. Slice the chicken against the grain and serve one breast per salad. Drizzle a bit more vinaigrette over the chicken; sprinkle with the almonds. Break up the cheddar crisps over the salad or serve them whole.

Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Yield: approx. 1/3  cup

1 small shallot, chopped
1 tsp. dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. olive oil
To taste Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine shallot, mustard and vinegar in a mixing bowl, mix well. Whisk in the oil & taste for seasoning.