Pistachio-Orange Encrusted Chicken with Salad

Pistachio-orange encrusted chicken salad - Pistachio-orange chicken is complemented by goat cheese, blood oranges, and avocados in this gourmet salad! | pinchmeimeating.com

I thought I could start a food blog since I love to cook, but I realized I don’t typically make up my own recipes and I needed a little help getting some ideas started.

So I asked my husband Mike to play Iron Chef with me and give me an inspiration ingredient. 

Pistachio-orange encrusted chicken salad - Simple to make with a complex taste! Aromatic orange and pistachio complements the chicken, while the pungent and tangy goat cheese balances out the sweetness of the dressing. | pinchmeimeating.comAfter a couple kind of odd suggestions from Mike where I’m not sure he entirely understood the Iron Chef concept (olive oil, cayenne pepper), he finally proposed pistachios, which was an ingredient I felt had sufficient inspiration value. There is so much you could do with a pistachio! Sweet or savory, paired with oranges or honey or chocolate. I could probably think of a week’s worth of pistachio recipes. 

“I could make some sort of pistachio ice cream, or something with chocolate…” I said.

“Mmm,” he said.

“Or I could make pistachio encrusted chicken,” I said.

“Ooooh,” he said. 

So it was settled.

I gave it a little zestiness — literally — by adding the zest of two blood oranges to the coating for the chicken, which took it from pretty good to awesome, complex, and sophisticated.

Paired with a mixed green salad, it made a perfect light dinner for early spring. And I balanced out the sweetness of the oranges, dressing, and avocado with some crumbled goat cheese. This one’s a keeper!

Next time I may add maybe a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the pistachio breading to give it that little extra somethin’-somethin’. I’ll let you know how that goes!

Pistachio-orange encrusted chicken salad - Pistachio-orange chicken is complemented by goat cheese, blood oranges, and avocados in this gourmet salad! | pinchmeimeating.com

Pistachio-Encrusted Chicken with Salad

Simple to make with a complex taste! Aromatic orange and pistachio complements the chicken, while the pungent and tangy goat cheese balances out the sweetness of the dressing.
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Course: Main Course, Salad
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4
Author: Caroline Lindsey

Ingredients

For the chicken

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs fat trimmed off
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios
  • Zest of 2 blood oranges about 2 tsp
  • 1/2-1 tsp kosher salt to taste
  • 1/2-1 tsp black pepper to taste
  • 1 egg beaten

For the dressing

  • Juice of half a blood orange about 3 tbsp
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

For the salad

  • 4 large handfuls mixed greens
  • 1 1/2 blood oranges segmented
  • 1 large ripe avocado sliced
  • 2-4 oz goat cheese crumbled

Instructions

For the chicken

  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Pulse pistachios in food processor until very fine. The finer you get it, the better it will stick to the chicken. Add the zest, salt, and pepper, and pulse to thoroughly combine.
  • Dredge chicken in egg, then coat in pistachio mixture, pressing lightly to help it stick.
  • Bake chicken on a cookie sheet or rimmed baking pan for 30 minutes. Let rest for an additional 5 minutes before slicing.

For the dressing

  • While chicken is baking, whisk together orange juice, vinegar, honey, garlic, and dijon mustard. Drizzle in olive oil while whisking to combine.

For the salad

  • Toss the greens with half the dressing and divide onto 4 plates. Arrange 1/4 of the avocado and orange segments onto each plate. Top with sliced chicken and crumbled goat cheese.
  • Drizzle with remaining dressing onto each salad, paying special attention to the chicken, avocado, and orange segments since they were not previously dressed.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

To segment the oranges
Cut the oranges in half, then slice off the rind with a sharp knife. Cut the oranges in half again to expose the middle white part, which you can then remove, and slice each quarter. I got about 6 segments out of a half an orange.

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