Panera Bread dominates in the U.S. with over 78 percent of all sales in the bakery-café segment. The chain’s success is attributed to the great offering of specialty sandwiches, delicious soups, and awesome salads. One of the most popular of those salads is the Fuji Apple Chicken Salad, which includes the chain’s citrus–lemon pepper marinated chicken on mixed greens with pecans, gorgonzola, crispy apple chips, and a balsamic apple vinaigrette. For the apple chips you don’t need to use apple chips that are specifically Fuji apple chips any apple chip will work here to make a great clone. I found that Seneca Crispy Apple Chips, the original apple chips, taste the best. This recipe uses the same marinated chicken as in the recipe for Panera Bread Asian Sesame Chicken Salad, so plan ahead since the chicken must marinate for 2 hours and then chill for another 2 hours after it’s cooked.

½ cup water
½ cup orange juice
¼ cup canola oil
3 tablespoons minced red onion
2 teaspoons crushed dried rosemary
1½ teaspoons lemon pepper
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon hickory liquid smoke flavoring

2 6-ounce skinless chicken breast fillets

⅓ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup apple juice concentrate
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar

2 medium tomatoes
8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
8 cups spring lettuce mix
1 medium red onion, sliced into thin rings
1 cup gorgonzola cheese
2 2½-ounce bags Seneca Crispy Apple Chips (or other brand)
1⅓ cups pecan halves

Cooking method

1-Make the marinade for the chicken by combining all of the marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the chicken, then cover and marinate for 2 hours in your refrigerator.

2-When the chicken has finished marinating, remove it from the marinade and place it on a rack with the underside of the chicken breasts facing up. Brush some additional marinade over the top of the chicken and bake it in a 375 degree F oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until done (internal temperature in the thickest part of the breasts should be 165 degrees F). Cool the chicken breasts in a covered container in your refrigerator for several hours, or if you want to rush it, put the chicken in the freezer for 1 hour, then in your refrigerator for 1 hour. When the chicken is cold, thinly slice it across the width of each breast.

3-Make the vinaigrette by whisking together all of the ingredients in a medium bowl until thick. Cover and chill until needed.

4-Slice the tomatoes by first slicing off the stem end. Turn the tomatoes onto the sliced end and slice each of them into 8 wedges.

5-To build each salad, combine 2 cups of chopped romaine lettuce with 2 cups of the spring mix in a mixing bowl. Add 4 tomato slices and 8 to 12 red onion rings, then pour 3 tablespoons of dressing over the salad and toss.

Arrange the salad on a large plate or in a large bowl, then sprinkle ¼ cup of the gorgonzola on top.

7-Arrange one-quarter of the chicken (half of a chicken breast) on the salad next. Sprinkle 1 cup (½ of a bag) of apple chips on the salad, followed by ⅓ cup of pecans, and serve.

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