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Arugula Salad with Homemade Orange Champagne Vinaigrette, Pinenuts, Baked Chicken Herbs De Provence and Hard Boiled Eggs

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Light, easy, and delicious, this is a lovely spring or summer time meal with only six ingredients! For this meal, the chicken will take the longest to cook. For this reason I am going to start with it first.

Baked Chicken Herbs De Provence

  • Fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Herbs De Provence
  • Sea salt or Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Granulated garlic
  • Olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375

Place desired amount of boneless skinless chicken breast in a bowl with enough olive oil to coat the surface.  Mix them around in the oil to ensure even coating.

Place chicken on parchment lined sheet pan, and season each side evenly with salt, pepper, garlic, and Herbs De Provence. I find that pouring out the seasonings in one hand while using the other hand to sprinkle across the top of the meat allows for even distribution rather than try to sprinkle the seasonings out of their containers.

After the chicken is seasoned pop it into the oven for 30-40 minutes until an internal temperature of 165° is reached on a meat thermometer.

Next let’s toast the pinenuts. I like to do this on the stove in a small sauté pan. Place a good handful of pinenuts in a sauté pan on medium high heat, and stir the pinenuts continuously until they began to brown. Remove them from the heat, and continue to stir for 3 to 5 more minutes because the pan is hot the pinenuts will continue to toast after you remove them from the heat. Toasting any type of nut (or seed in this case) will intensify the natural flavor already present as well as enhancing the texture of the nut. Set aside for later use.

To make the perfect hard-boiled egg fill up a small sauce pan with water, and turn the heat on high. Just before the water begins to boil place the desired amount of eggs into the water, and set a timer for 11 minutes. For my salad I used to hard-boiled eggs that I cut into pretty wedges! After 11 minutes drain the hot water, fill the sauce pan with ice and water, and shock the eggs for at least 30 seconds to stop the cooking. This will also make the eggs easier to peel.

In a small bowl place a good amount of arugula (Roquette in the UK and elsewhere).

For the orange champagne dressing:

  • 4 tbsp orange champagne vinegar (or vinegar of choice)
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients in a small bowl or container with a lid. I like to use a small whisk with a bowl, or you can place a lid on a container to give it a good shaking!  Pour the dressing over your arugula, and give it a good tossing! I garnished my salad with a few fresh cut mandarin oranges to compliment the orange champagne vinaigrette, but any fruit of your choice works depending on the type of vinegar you use!

Once your chicken is done let it cool done a little before you slice it. Cut the chicken into thin strips at an angle. I placed my salad on the center the plate, and sprinkled on the pinenuts! Then I placed the chicken on one side, the eggs on the other, and gave the eggs a fresh sprinkling of cracked black pepper, and a little salt!


Shawn SmallwoodThis post is by Shawn Smallwood who is an aspiring chef, and pastry chef. He began his career in 2002 as a food service specialist in the US Army. He has a deep passion for culinary arts, but also loves the fine attention to detail that is required for baking and patisserie.

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