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Lunch / Dinner

Pecan-Crusted Chicken Salad

One bite of this pecan-crusted chicken entrée salad covers a lot of bases in terms of textures and flavors. Go on, just try to keep your fork out of it. You’ve seen this salad before, or a version of it anyway, on restaurant menus everywhere. It always sounds so enticing, but usually falls short of expectations. This recipe, though, does not. In fact, your family could probably eat it every week without uttering one complaint.

There’s a lot going on here, but it’s still weeknight plausible. The citrus-honey mustard dressing just takes minutes to make, though you can also make it ahead and keep it chilled. The pecan breading comes together quickly in a food processor. And it’s easy enough to hardcook a few eggs and fry the bacon a day or two in advance. Cut the chicken into strips the day before you plan to fry them, then all that’s left to do is bread and fry the chicken, slice the onions, and toss them all with the spinach and dressing. Dinner will be on the table in short order, and you’ll be glad you made the effort.


4 servings

Total Time

40 minutes

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For the vinaigrette, whisk together orange and lemon juices, oil, honey, and Dijon; season with salt.

For the salad, coarsely chop bread crumbs, pecans, salt, cayenne, and zests in a food processor.

Dredge chicken in flour. Whisk eggs and milk together in a shallow dish. Dip floured chicken in egg mixture, then roll in crumb-nut mixture.

Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium to 350°. Fry chicken strips in batches until golden, 23 minutes per side; transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Toss spinach and onion in a bowl with vinaigrette. Top with chicken, bacon, and eggs.

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