Sunday, May 4, 2008

Deconstructed BLT

I wanted to enter an additional recipe for the chicken contest. I had some bacon at home so I thought up this. I called it a Chicken BLT Salad when I entered it....but really like calling it a "Deconstructed BLT" better.

I had seen a bread salad recipe somewhere else, where the bread is seasoned and toasted, then mixed with the other salad elements. I used that basic idea here. I think this salad will be better this summer with fresh, local, heirloom tomatoes and lettuce. We joined an organic CSA last year, and have again this year. All that good produce spoils you! I would like to try this with the arugula we get. It is the best darn arugula I have ever had. I can just eat it plain.
But anyway I loved the crust on this chicken and the mustard dressing. The bread I used is Pan Bigio, an Italian wheat bread. Using good bread is very important in this recipe. I think sourdough would be great also.

Chicken BLT Salad

8 pieces-bacon

¼ cup-olive oil

½ tsp-dried dill

¼ tsp-salt

fresh ground pepper

1 pound loaf-Italian bread, ripped into small pieces

3 tsp-mustard seeds

1 ½ tsp-black pepper corns

½ tsp-sea salt

1 tbsp.- canola oil

1 lb chicken tenderloins

1 head-romaine lettuce, ripped into bite sized pieces

1 tbsp. + 1 tsp.-whole grain mustard

2 tbsp-white wine vinegar

¼ cup-olive oil

1 bunch-green onion


Preheat the oven to 350.

Cook the bacon on the stove top until crisp. Reserve the bacon on a plate with paper towels to cool. Save 1 tablespoon bacon drippings.

In a large bowl, mix the ¼ cup olive oil, dill, salt, pepper and bacon drippings. Add the ripped bread and toss to coat. Spread the bread out on a large baking sheet. Cook in oven, stirring occasionally until lightly toasted, 10-15 minutes.

Using a mortar and pestle, crush the mustard seeds, pepper corns and sea salt. Coat the chicken tenderloins in the mustard mixture. Heat the canola oil in a non-stick pan. Cook the chicken until no longer pink inside. Remove to a cutting board, let cool then slice.

Meanwhile, in the same large bowl, whisk together the grain mustard, vinegar and ¼ cup olive oil. Add the lettuce. Thinly slice the green onion and add to the bowel. Cut the bacon into bite sized pieces. Add bacon, chicken and bread pieces to the salad. Toss all ingredients to coat well in the dressing. Put in the fridge for 45 minutes.

Chop and de-seed the tomatoes. Add to the salad and toss again before serving.

Serves 4-5

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