This was a surprise hit. I knew I would like it, because I love anything with spinach, but Frank really surprised me here. He loves this and requests it every week. To the point I’m almost over it, but not quite. This salad is a great weeknight dinner, quick and healthy. Courtesy of Southern Living.
Pan-Fried Chicken and Spinach Salad
- 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4 thickness
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 bag of spinach
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 apple, thinly sliced (use whatever is in season; right now, we’re using Fiji)
- handful of chopped walnuts
- handful of craisins (or dried cranberries, whatever)
- Poppyseed dressing (we used Briannas)
- shake of shaved parmesan (optional)
- S&P to taste
To prep the chicken breasts, here’s a tip for pounding chicken breasts. Roll out some syran wrap, place the breasts on it and then place another sheet of syran wrap on top of the chicken. Pound them with a meat mallet. The point is to thin them out, so they are about equal in thickness. You don’t want the breast to be really thick in one spot, because it won’t cook all the way through in a skillet before you’ve over-cooked the thinner parts, so focus on the thickest parts of the breast to pound out.
BEGINNERS TIP: chicken is a great meat to cook on the stove-top, but the secret is to cooking it evenly. The best way to do this is to make sure it’s not too thick, which is why you pound it out. Otherwise, it will take a while to cook through and you will end up scorching the meat because of the direct heat conducted by the skillet before it’s cooked through its thickest part. Remember, the leaner the meat, the longer it takes to cook.
Once pounded, sprinkle directly with salt and pepper. Next, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. While the oil heats, quickly dredge the chicken breasts in the flour, then egg and then breadcrumbs (in this order) and place in the skillet. Make sure the oil is hot, you want the oil to crackle when you put the breast in. Otherwise, the crust will get soggy, not brown. Cook on either side about 5-7 minutes or until golden brown and the liquids are clear, not pink.
Meanwhile, dump the spinach into a large salad serving bowl. Top with the sliced apple, walnuts, craisin and dressing and mix well. Start with just a little dressing, maybe 2 tbsps, and taste. You can always add a little more, but you don’t want to to drench the salad in dressing.
When the chicken is done, let it rest on a cooking board for a few minutes. Then slice it and place on top of the salad mix. Add cheese, if preferred. Serve immediately!
This salad is a meal in itself. We drank a $5.99 red Protocolo (Spanish table wine and a GREAT weeknight wine) with this and it was great! But we love this wine, so we think it’s always great.