Dijon Chicken and Warm Spinach Salad

Posted on: Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mid-March brings us back to our tennis days. From middle school to senior year of college, this time of year was devoted to spring training trips in Florida, weekend tournaments, and state championships against conference rivals. Our former teammates can attest that we are as serious about our cooking as we are on the court. As doubles partners, dressed in matching white dresses, we always enjoyed playing tricks on our opponents.

We often took team dinners into our own hands. With a college budget, the meals were never too fancy or laborious, but always incorporated a gourmet twist on healthy, balanced ingredients. The Dijon and Panko-Crusted Chicken accompanied by the Wilted Spinach Salad ensured high energy before tearing up the courts.

Dijon and Panko-Crusted Chicken

4 (6 oz each) boneless chicken breasts
1 c flour
3 T Dijon mustard
2 eggs
2 c panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper throughout

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the chicken into long strips. In a frying pan, coat the bottom with 1/2-inch of EVOO. While the oil is heating, set up your dredging station: 1 plate of flour, salt and pepper; 1 shallow bowl of Dijon mustard whisked into the eggs; and 1 plate of panko breadcrumbs seasoned with salt and pepper. Dip each piece of the chicken into the flour, then the egg and mustard mixture, then the panko breadcrumbs, making sure to cover all sides. Once the oil starts to sizzle add the chicken in batches. Fry the pieces for 2-3 minutes per side until slightly browned and transfer to a greased baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink inside. Serve the pieces atop the Wilted Spinach Salad. Serves 4.

Wilted Spinach Salad with Button Mushrooms, Roasted Red Peppers and Goat Cheese

4 c baby spinach
2 diced tomatoes
8 oz crumbled goat cheese
1 8 oz jar roasted red peppers, sliced
1 1/2 c chopped button mushrooms
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 c Balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper throughout

In a large salad bowl, top the spinach with the tomatoes and crumbled goat cheese. In a sautee pan, add the EVOO and saute the button mushrooms on medium heat for 5 minutes until slightly softened. Add the red peppers and sautee for 2 more minutes. Add the balsamic, garlic, salt and pepper and continue to cook down for 3-5 more minutes. Pour the sauteed vegetables into the salad bowl, tossing all ingredients to allow the spinach to wilt and goat cheese to melt slightly. Serves 4.

Game, set, match!


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