Blueberry Maple Chicken Kale Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Warm bacon vinaigrette and blueberry-maple pan sauce are a sweet and savory match made in salad heaven.

Blueberry Maple Chicken Kale Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
Makes 4 servings
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 chicken cutlets
  • 1½ teaspoons salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
  • 4 cups fresh baby kale
  • Warm Bacon Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat until butter is melted and bubbly. Sprinkle chicken with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. Add chicken to skillet; increase heat to medium-high. Sear both sides of chicken until lightly browned. Remove from pan, and set aside.
  3. Add shallot to skillet; cook until softened and lightly caramelized, 3 to 4 minutes. Add blueberries, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in maple syrup and remaining 1 teaspoon salt; simmer for 10 minutes. Place chicken on top of blueberries
  4. Bake until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion of chicken registers 165°, 5 to 10 minutes. Toss baby kale with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette. Place chicken atop salad, and drizzle with blueberry sauce from pan.

Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
Makes about 2 cups
  • ⅓ cup bacon drippings
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup cane vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons cane syrup
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons cold water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
  1. In a medium skillet, heat bacon drippings over high heat. Add garlic; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add sugar, ½ cup water, vinegars, cane syrup, and mustard, whisking to combine; bring to a boil.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together 2 teaspoons cold water and cornstarch. Add cornstarch mixture and pepper to vinaigrette, whisking until thickened, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat, and stir in crumbled bacon. Use immediately.



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