Pear and Chicken Picnic Salad 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Jun 4, 2014

The color may be a bit drab, but the taste makes up for it.

If you start with ripe pears, they might disintegrate, so we suggest adding fresh, thin pear slices just before serving.

Make Ahead: The pear-chicken mixture can be refrigerated (without the pears) up to 2 days in advance.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings; makes about 5 1/2 cups

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound total), trimmed of visible fat then cut into 1 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 large, ripe Bartlett pears, cored, peeled then cut into thin slices, plus fresh, thin slices for garnish
  • 8 ounces (8 cups) mixed baby greens


Heat half of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the chicken and walnuts. Cook for about 5 minutes, turning as needed, until the chicken is just cooked through and the walnuts are warm. Transfer to a mixing bowl; season with salt and pepper (to taste).

Add the shallots to the same (empty) skillet. Cook over medium heat for 2 to 4 minutes, until they are translucent. Add the vinegar; once it starts to boil, use a wooden spatula to dislodge any browned bits from the pan.

Remove from the heat; whisk in the remaining oil to form an emulsified dressing. Add the pears and stir gently to coat, then add the contents of the pan to the chicken-walnut mixture.

At this point, the mixture can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Divide the baby greens among individual plates. Top with equal portions of the pear-chicken salad; garnish with the freshly sliced pears. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Pears," by Linda West Eckhardt (Chronicle Books, 1996).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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