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Wine poached chicken is perfect for salads but you can also use it as a topping for pizza, in a panini, mixed in chicken salad or any other dish where you would normally use pre-cooked chicken breasts. I poached several extra chicken breasts to use during the week and was thrilled with the tender, moist texture and rich flavor. Using skinless, boneless chicken breasts makes it easy and low fat. Combined with Bosc pears that are naturally sweet, full of fiber and very filling, this is a totally satisfying surprise.
Dressed simply with red wine vinegar and olive oil this recipe is a keeper! Be careful not to drench the salad in dressing, it just doesn’t need it. Sorry to be so effusive but the accolades are well deserved. Delicious indeed!
Wine Poached Chicken, Pear and Walnut Salad
For the wine poached chicken:
- 2 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts (I poached 4 reserving two for later use)
- ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns, or coarsely ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2 cups dry white wine
- a few springs of fresh Thyme
- a few springs of fresh Rosemary
For the vinaigrette:
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
For the salad:
- 4 large escarole leaves, washed and torn
- 1 Bosc pear, sliced
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- ½ cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 ounce shaved Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
- To poach the chicken combine the wine, herbs, and peppercorns in a high-sided frying pan, braiser or saute pan. Make sure the wine will almost cover the chicken breasts so use a pan that is just about large enough to fit them in one layer. Bring the wine mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer. Add the chicken breasts and poach (not boil), turning once, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover the pan. Allow the chicken to rest in the wine liquid and finish cooking for about 15 more minutes. Remove the chicken, slice or shred as desired and enjoy it warm or refrigerate for later use.
- Combine the red wine vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper. Whisk until combined. Drizzle half the vinaigrette over the sliced chicken breasts. Divide the escarole leaves, pear, shallot and walnuts among four plates. Top with the chicken and cheese.
- Season with salt and pepper if desired and drizzle lightly with remaining vinaigrette. Serve and enjoy!
- Chicken breasts may be poached in any flavorful broth instead of wine. Fortify the poaching liquid with left over vegetables and herbs.