Chicken and Pear Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette

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One of my favorite quick and easy dinners is some sort of salad topped with a grilled (or sauteed chicken breast). This salad is an adaptation from a Weight Watchers recipe.

Chicken and Pear Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette
Serves 4

4 boned, skinned chicken breasts
olive oil
salt and pepper
2 pears, cored and cut into bite size pieces
mixed salad greens

dressing
4 (or more) slices bacon, chopped
1/2 cup fat-free chicken broth
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat a tiny bit of olive oil (if your bacon is lean) in a skillet over medium heat. Fry the bacon until crispy (about 8 minutes). Remove the bacon and let drain on a paper towel. Salt and pepper chicken breasts. Leaving skillet on medium-high heat, brown chicken on one side for about 2 minutes, turn and brown on other side for about 2 minutes, or until chicken is nice and golden. Cover and reduce heat to medium low, cook for 8 minutes or until chicken is done. When chicken is done, set it out on a cutting board to rest for about 5 minutes before slicing.

While chicken is cooking, mix dressing ingredients in small bowl. Toss salad greens, pears and dressing in a large bowl. Distribute salad among 4 dinner plates and place sliced chicken on top.

I really love this salad. It’s wonderful in fall, when pears are ripe and flavorful. Dried cranberries also go lovely in it and add a pretty color. Also, I was hungry and impatient and didn’t really brown the chicken as well as I should. Even so, it was yummy, you pretty much can’t go wrong with chicken browned in bacon fat!

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