Easy and delicious chicken salad with juicy garlic chicken, baby spinach, avocado, cheese and more!
2rotisserie chicken breasts
2large chicken breasts
2tspoil for frying
salt and pepper
1/2cupcrumbled blue or feta cheese
2large pears, chopped or sliced
1/4cupextra-virgin olive oil
10 to 12cupsbaby spinach
Prepare the chicken first. If you are using rotisserie chicken, skip to next step. Preheat the oven to 425F and preheat a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil for frying and add in the chicken breasts. Season them generously with salt, pepper and a sprinkle of paprika. Fry the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until well browned. To finish cooking the chicken, transfer the pan into the preheated oven and bake until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165F. Large pieces can take 18 to 20 minutes; medium pieces 12 to 15; small pieces 7 to 9 minutes. Rest the chicken for 5 minutes before slicing.
Next, prepare the salad dressing. Combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, poppy seeds and salt in a dispenser bottle or a measuring cup. Whisk or mix the the dressing for 1 minute until creamy. Store any leftover balsamic dressing in the refrigerator.
Prepare all the salad toppings: chop or slice the pears, slice the avocado and crumble the cheese. If you don't like blue cheese, try it's lighter cousin gorgonzola or go plain with crumbled feta.
Assemble the salad on one large platter or in individual bowls. Start by spreading the spinach, top with the sliced chicken breast and gently fan the chicken. Fan the sliced avocado and add on top. Watch my video recipe to see how it's done. Top with the pears, cheese, pecans and cranberries. Pour the salad dressing over the the spinach salad and season the chicken with salt and pepper. I love to have some rustic baguette on the side, too! This salad serves 2 as a main entree or 4 as a starter salad.
If you want to prepare this salad ahead of time, simply arrange everything on a plate or platter and reserve the dressing. To preserve the color of the avocado, squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the top.