TGIFriday's Pecan-Crusted Chicken Salad

"Don't let the lengthy directions fool you; this salad is not difficult to prepare. Pecan-crusted chicken, served sliced and chilled on salad greens, tossed with Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing, topped with mandarin oranges, sweet-glazed pecans, celery, dried cranberries, and Bleu cheese. Time does not include chill time. I borrowed a friend's cookbook entitled Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 and wanted to put this recipe here so that I wouldn't lose it."
photo by Raspberri_Skies photo by Raspberri_Skies
photo by Raspberri_Skies
photo by Crafty Lady 13 photo by Crafty Lady 13
photo by Crafty Lady 13 photo by Crafty Lady 13
photo by Crafty Lady 13 photo by Crafty Lady 13
Ready In:




  • Make the pecan-crusted chicken first since it is served cold.
  • Pound each chicken fillet to about 1/2-inch thick. You can do this easily by covering each chicken breast in plastic wrap, and pounding with a kitchen mallet.
  • Combine 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, corn flake crumbs, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a shallow bowl.
  • Combine milk with beaten eggs in another shallow bowl.
  • Dump the flour into another shallow bowl.
  • Bread each chicken breast by coating each with flour.
  • Dip the flour-dusted chicken into the egg mixture.
  • Coat the chicken with a thick coating of the pecans and corn flake crumbs.
  • Preheat 1/2 cup canola oil in a large skillet over medium/low heat.
  • When the oil is hot, saute the chicken fillets for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown.
  • Cool chicken on a rack or paper-towels.
  • When you can handle the chicken, cover it and refrigerate it for at least two hours.
  • As the chicken chills, you can make the balsamic vinaigrette by combining 1 cup canola oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, granulated sugar and 1/2 tsp salt in a blender.
  • Blend on low speed for just a few seconds, or until the dressing begins to thicken. Don't blend too long or your vinaigrette will get too thick, like mayonnaise.
  • Pour vinaigrette into a small bowl and mix in minced garlic.
  • Chill this until you're ready to use it.
  • When you're ready to build your salad, toss lettuce and celery with about 3/4 cup of the balsamic vinaigrette.
  • Arrange the lettuce on four plates, then sprinkle the cranberries over the lettuce (about 1/4 cup per serving).
  • Combine the 3 tablespoons of brown sugar with 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans.
  • Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the mixture on each salad.
  • Sprinkle about 1/2 can of drained mandarin orange segments over each salad, followed by about 2 tablespoons of crumbled bleu cheese.
  • Slice each chicken fillet into thin strips. Arrange one sliced chicken fillet on top of each salad and serve.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Jennifer P.
    Bazar question but, how can I make this recipe more Weight Watchers friendly?! (as for my 1st time ever, I started Weight Watchers, am more than halfway to my goal, but really want to figure out if there's a way to make this salad more "Weight Watchers friendly".


  1. Raspberri_Skies
    This recipe is almost exactly like Friday's salad. I followed it except for the pecan/brown sugar mix. TGIFriday's uses glazed pecans so I melted a tablespoon of butter and about 1/2 cup brown sugar ( not packed) in a pan added about a cup of pecans and a tiny bit of water and let those cook until they were glazed. Thanks for a great recipe!! Edited to add I had three fairly large chicken breasts so I need a little more breading then the recipe calls for. Next time to be sure I will just start with 1 1/2 times the amount called for, for the breading. The egg/milk mixture could be halved.
  2. weekend cooker
    Very nice dinner, this ended up to be. Though I have never been to TGIF's I can't compare the two. The vineigrette was just plain fantastic. Great great recipe, Made for 4 servings, and it fit the bill. Definately should try this again. Made for Recipe Swap..
  3. amy2807
    LOVE this! I made three changes for a little healthier option: 1) Baked the chicken (350 degrees for 30 minutes) 2) Reduced dressing in half 3) Didn't do the brown sugar with pecans to go on the salad -- didn't think was necessary and didn't miss it.
  4. jaclynhouser2001
    Exactly like the TGIFriday's version! The chicken is delicious hot or cold, and the dressing is fantastic!
  5. charlie_g68
    i hated salad till i tried this! its sooo good!



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