I used this recipe, which involves marinating chicken breasts and mushrooms in a simple and tasty balsamic vinegar-based mixture, then baking in the oven. I had to omit the mushrooms this time since I didn't have any on hand, but they definitely add flavour and moisture to the chicken so I recommend using them if you can. I usually use a mixture of Portobello and regular mushrooms. On another note, I find the chopped mint a strange garnish for this dish. Usually I don't have any on hand anyway, but this time I did and while it didn't taste bad, I wouldn't bother using it next time.
This salad was adapted from an Instyle recipe and has become a standby for my whole family. It takes about 45-60 minutes to prepare if you don't use one of the time-saving tips below. Preheat oven to 350. Peel, core and quarter 1 or 2 ripe Bosc pears. (Make sure you get Bosc pears as they don't become mushy while cooking). Place on a baking sheet lined with foil, brush with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes, turning once. While pears are cooking, bring 1 cup of orange juice to boil in a saucepan, then reduce to 1/4 cup. Stir occasionally to avoid burning and watch the pot for overflows. Once reduced, pour OJ into a blender and add 2T honey and 1T red wine vinegar. With the motor running on low, slowly pour in 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, then season to taste. I usually double the dressing if I'm going to all that effort anyways.
Toss the cooked pear with baby greens, pomegranate seeds and candied pecans (click here for pecan recipe), and drizzle with dressing.
VARIATIONS AND TIME SAVERS
- Serve with raw pear instead of cooked pear
- Don't reduce the OJ before using in the dressing
- Use regular pecans instead of candied ones
- Add thinly sliced red onion
- Add goat cheese or crumbled blue cheese
- Substitute dried cranberries for pomegranate seeds