Saturday, April 20, 2013

Chicken, Strawberry, Goat Cheese & Micro Green Salad with Figgy Balsamic Vinaigrette

Rulison honey, Stony Brook squash seed oil, Saratoga Fig balsamic
I recently played a Facebook trivia game that links up local small businesses in my area, Saratoga, NY and I just love that they support and promote each other, it's so awesome. The game is run by the Saratoga Olive Oil Company, they have cooking demonstrations and they quiz Facebook followers on the ingredients, it's fun, interactive and you get to see a lot of local chefs and foods. I was one of the winners on the past trivia game and I got to pick my favorite olive oil or vinegar that they sell, boy was I stoked! I opted for the fig balsamic, it's so incredibly delicious and I have yet to find a place where it doesn't enhance a dish nicely, it's the perfect balsamic in my book. This win inspired me to recreate a salad that is one of my all time favorites, it's so simple, yet so delicious and elegant. The fig balsamic vinaigrette compliments the crispy, salty chicken skin, the creamy, tangy goat cheese and the sweet and fresh strawberries so perfectly. It's a classic salad but made with all organic or local ingredients, I even grew the micro greens I used, right in my own window sill!

This recipe makes 2 salads, but can easily be doubled.



1 Large, farm raised chicken breast, skin on, my chicken came from Misty Knolls Farm in VT.
Olive oil for sauteing the chicken.
Sea salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste.
1 Head organic romaine lettuce, cut into bite size pieces.
1 Cup micro greens, I grew my own, they are hard to find in a grocery store because they are so delicate, I would substitute pea shoots or sprouts for this if you cannot get them.
6 Organic strawberries, hulled and sliced.
2 Oz organic goat cheese, I used Nettle Meadow Fromage Blanc, goat cheese is usually very easy to find locally made, check out your cheese counter and ask what ones are local! They are so insanely delicious!


1/3 Cup fig balsamic vinegar
1/2 Cup best quality you can find, extra virgin olive oil, I use California Olive Ranch the most, they sell it in every grocery store I have ever been in so it should be easy to find, it's affordable and very delicious.
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp local honey
3 Tbsp water
1 Small, organic shallot, minced.
Sea salt & pepper, to taste.


In a dressing shaker, if you have one place all ingredients and shake till they are thick and creamy, I don't fool around with fancy emulsification, it's not necessary. If you don't have a shaker, place them in a Tupperware that has a good lid and shake. Also works in the blender. Set aside at room temperature.

Heat a saute pan on medium high heat. Butterfly (link to a youtube video if you do not know what this term means) your chicken so that it will cook faster, salt a pepper generously. Add olive oil to the pan and sear skin side down. Cook on both sides for 5 to 8 minutes a side, until it is no longer pink and the skin and flesh is golden brown. Remove from pan to rest on a cutting board.

While chicken is cooking place lettuce, strawberries and goat cheese (crumbled, 1 oz each salad) onto two plates. I like to layer my ingredients evenly so that every bite has a little of everything.

Cut chicken into strips, careful not to pull of the skin so that it stays on each piece. Split the chicken evenly between the two plates on top of the bed of lettuce. Top with the micro greens and serve with a side of dressing.

Salad does not have to be a boring experience, it can be a satisfying, zen like experience if you use the very best ingredients!

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