Chicken Salad with Peaches, Basil and Blue Cheese

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Yield: 4 servings       

4 each   Chicken breasts, about 4oz each
1 recipe Basil Marinade (recipe follows), divided in half
To taste Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 cups  Tender greens
6-8 each Basil leaves
2 each  Peaches, pitted and cut into chunks
4 oz  Blue cheese
¼ cup  Hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1. Trim fat and skin from the chicken breasts; flatten with a meat mallet or side of a heavy cleaver between 2 pieces of plastic wrap to ½” thick and place in half of the marinade (reserve the remaining half for later). Allow to marinate 2-4 hours. Remove the chicken from the marinade, season with salt and pepper and bake, broil or grill until done; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine salad greens, basil, and half of the peaches; toss with a few grains of kosher salt and some of the reserved marinade; arrange on a platter. Slice the chicken into bite size pieces and toss with a bit of the reserved marinade; arrange on top of the greens.

3. Sprinkle the remaining peaches on top of the salad. To finish, top with the crumbled blue cheese, hazelnuts and a few grinds of black pepper.

Basil Marinade

1 large  Orange, zested and juiced
2 tsp  Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp  Balsamic vinegar
½ tsp   Coriander seeds, freshly toasted and ground
¼ tsp  Aniseed, ground
1 Tbsp   Honey
¼ cup   Basil, chopped
¼ cup  Extra virgin olive oil
To taste Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a small saucepan, reduce orange juice over medium high heat by half; cool. Should yield a little less than 1/4 cup.

2. In a small bowl whisk together the reduced juice, 1 tsp of the zest, mustard, vinegar, coriander, aniseed, honey and basil; whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Divide the marinade in half in two glass bowls, reserving half for the salad dressing.