South Beach Style Warm Chicken Salad

"I tasted a version of this salad while eating lunch at a restuarant in Fishkill, NY. I asked the waitress for the recipe, and she vaguely described how they prepared the chicken. Last night, I attempted to recreate the entire dish, and was very pleased with the results. Here is what I came up with. Please note that all of the dressing ingredients will be to taste and also the chicken cook time will be slightly different depending upon how much your pieces weigh, as well as how thinly you pound them. Herbes de Provence is a French dried herb blend containing lavendar. If you can't find it, use another herb blend you prefer. To get the amount of ground pistachios you will need to purchase a little over half a pound of them in the shell, then grind the nutmeats in a food processor until they resemble bread crumbs - and then measure them after grinding."
photo by HeatherFeather photo by HeatherFeather
photo by HeatherFeather
Ready In:




  • Combine the dressing ingredients,except oils and water, using a whisk to blend well.
  • Slowly add oils while whisking fiercely, until all is incorporated.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings, adding a little cold water if the taste is too vinegary.
  • Pour into a microwave-safe deep glass container and set aside.
  • Cook bacon strips in a large skillet a few minutes each side until crisp, remove to paper towel-lined plate to cool.
  • Drain off bacon grease, but don't clean out the pan (you will be using the same pan to cook the chicken in, and that bit of residual bacon essence will help flavor the meat).
  • Set out four large dinner plates and place 2 cups salad greens on each, then sprinkle cherry tomatoes and cheese around the edges of each plate; set aside.
  • Coat chicken pieces heavily with the ground nuts (discard any excess that doesn't stick).
  • Preheat oven to 350 F and have ready an ungreased 9x13" casserole.
  • Heat a little olive oil in the same skillet you cooked the bacon in, over about medium heat (use just enough oil to keep meat from sticking).
  • Brown chicken pieces 3-4 minutes per side, with the lid on- or until both sides have browned evenly, being careful to adjust the heat if needed to keep nuts from burning.
  • Place chicken into ungreased casserole dish and bake about 10 minutes, or until fully cooked (if your breasts are really thin, check early, if they are thicker, you may need another 5 minutes).
  • While the chicken is baking,re-whisk the dressing again and pop it into the microwave to heat for 30 seconds, stir, then heat another 30 secoinds- just until slightly warmed, not hot (NOTE:since microwaves vary, you may need to adjust the time so you don't boil the oil).
  • Drizzle about 1 Tbsp of the warmed dressing over each salad plate; Pour the rest of the dressing into a serving dish to set on the table for each guest add as much or as little extra dressing as they prefer.
  • Crumble bacon and sprinkle evenly over each plate.
  • When chicken is fully cooked, remove to a cutting board and cut each breast into thin strips,trying to keep them together so they still look like a whole chicken breast shape.
  • Using a long spatula, lift each sliced chicken breast and place in the center of each salad.
  • Grind a bit of fresh black pepper and a pinch of salt over each serving.
  • Serve immediately with the extra dressing on the side.

Questions & Replies

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  1. stormylee
    This is really good! I made two servings, but I did use the 4 slices of bacon (ahem!). The biggest change I made was that I used Recipe #298812 instead of ground pistachios because I happened to have some left over from the previous night's meze extravaganza - worked very well! I made maybe 1/6 of the dressing recipe, and that was quite enough for us. Great recipe, thank you for sharing!
  2. Carb Lover
    Very very good. We love chicken in our house. To make this more South Beach I used turkey bacon (reg. is a no-no) (ahd to spray with Pam to make up for it) and no cheese since south beach cheese must be 2% or lower and couldnt find any low fat feta. Also cut back a bit on the oils to a 1/4 cup each and it was fine. Going to try this with our steaks also. Thanks for a great recipe
  3. Doesnt Do Dishes
    I was lucky and found shelled Pistachios at my local specialty store. The only thing that I changed was using white Balsamic vinegar in the dressing. This one is a keeper; easy, tasty and good for you. Doesn't get much better than that.
  4. Debby H
    This is a great recipe. Well worth shelling the nuts for. I made it exactly as described. It didn't need more dressing than the inital drizzle. Thanks so much for figuring out how to duplicate your restaurant salad. It has already become a favorite!!!
  5. Kirste
    My picky 9yr old loved this recipe. Thanks!



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