Recipe: Barbecued Chicken Breast and Candied Pecan Salad with a Spicy Balsamic Emulsion

There is an assumption that because most of my recipes are less than healthy that I don’t cook healthy things. I really do have a pretty decent roster for healthy recipes. Today I am going to give you a recipe for a salad. This is not a side dish, this is a salad that happens to be a meal. 


1 Chicken Breast

1 Handfull of Pancetta

Maudlin Greens

1 Avocado(Sliced)

1/2 Cucumber(rounds)

2 Tomatoes(Quartered)

Red Onion(Sliced)


Brown Sugar

Sea Salt

Red Chili Flakes

Moustard powder

canola oil

Olive oil

Balsamic Vinegar


Sriracha Pepper Sauce(Or like hot sauce)


Part 1: The Chicken…

Rub chicken down with olive oil and rub with salt, pepper, mustard powered and red chili flakes. Place on a very hot Barbecue or Grill Pan. Sear all sides to create a crust and lock in juices. Cook until juices are clear. Let rest for five minutes and slice length wise into strips. It’s not a bad thing to get a little bit of char on the chicken. It will work well with the flavours and textures of the salad.

Part 2: The Candied Pecans. In a sauce pan melt butter with brown sugar, sea salt and red chili flakes. Once the sauce is uniform. Add the pecans. Make sure to coat the pecans in the sauce. Sauté the Pecans until the sauce begins to tighten. Remove from heat and pour the pecan/sauce mixture onto a cookie sheet. And place in a freezer for 15 minutes. Remove from Freezer and break up the pecan brittle.

Part 3: The balsamic emulsion*…

In a bowl add 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup balsamic, 1 Ts of Mayonaise, 1 splash of Sriracha Pepper Sauce.. Whisk for about 30 seconds or until the emulsion is uniform. 

Part 4: Assembly.

In a large bowl add your lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, and avocado. Then drizzle your balsamic emulsion over the salad. Then add your chicken slices, and pecan brittle. Drizzle a little more balsamic emulsion over the finished salad and you’re ready for a very filling meal.

*Many people who make their own salad dressing run into the oil and vinegar separating and getting an uneven coating on their salad. Adding a little bit of Mayonnaise will act as a binding agent and cause the oil and vinegar to stay together for a longer period of time. This is called an emulsion. This will usually work for about 2 hours until the oil and vinegar separate. Shaking or whisking the mixture again will cause the emulsion to reform.(Hence shake before using.)