Chicken and Spinach Salad with Bacon Dressing

This right here’s the best spinach salad I’ve ever eaten in my entire life.  I just demolished this photo shoot and wish I had some more!  Keep in mind this rave review is coming from a gal who doesn’t even LIKE raw spinach all that much – I’m not crazy about how it feels on  my teeth, if you want the truth – but this salad’s so flippin’ good, my pearly whites didn’t even get weirded out!

Although bacon dressing is the classic spinach salad go-with, I’ve always thought it sounded a little well…grody.  So bacon dripping vinaigrette has never been high on my list of must-make dressings.  But I’m here to tell you that it is dee-licious!  I’m a total bacon dressing convert!  And bacon is on sale, so what more could you possibly ask for?!

Don’t tell your cardiologist.  He cares not for sale bacon.

And full disclosure:  my punks wouldn’t touch this with a ten foot pole.

I ended up modifying the original recipe quite a bit; the main change I made was to cook the chicken myself (the original recipe calls for a rotisserie chicken).  I bought a package of the sale chicken breasts and used them instead.  I also added crumbles of a delicious gorgonzola, a handful of toasted pecans, and extra slivers of red onion.

I think it’s a WOW….I hope you like it too!

CHICKEN & SPINACH SALAD WITH BACON DRESSING
Serves: 2
Source:  adapted from epicurious.com

3 c. cooked chicken, cut into short strips (from 1 purchased roast chicken) *see note for alternate plan*
1 – 6oz. bag baby spinach leaves
6 slices bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces (Sendik’s Bacon is on sale)
½ medium-sized red onion, sliced paper thin
3 T. balsamic vinegar (I used a sherry vinegar and it was great)

Crumbled gorgonzola (I used the BelGioioso Cheese of the Month, YUM!)
Toasted, chopped pecans
Additional slivered red onion

Place chicken and spinach in a large bowl.  Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until browned and crisp.  Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels.  Pour off all but 3 tablespoons drippings from skillet.  Add onion and vinegar to drippings in skillet; stir to heat through, scraping up any browned bits, about 1 minute.  Pour dressing over chicken and spinach.  Add bacon, crumbled gorgonzola, and toasted pecans (spinach will wilt slightly).  Season salad with salt and pepper; divide salad between two plates.  Garnish with additional slivered red onion.

Pass out from sheer bliss.

** NOTE ** Sendik’s boneless, skinless breasts are on sale this week.  I pounded out three breasts, drizzled them with a bit of olive oil, a sprinkle of herbs d’Provence, and some kosher salt and pepper.  Then I threw them on the grill for about four minutes a side, allowed them to rest under foil for 10 minutes or so, then sliced them thinly across the grain.  They were perfect!

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | October 18th, 2010