Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stuffed Chicken And Spinach Salad With Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Until this past weekend I was a pomegranate virgin. Is this too personal?

I mean, I'd tasted pomegranate juice before (usually in the form of a martini,) but as far as eating the actual fruit itself, I was a total newbie. My curiosity finally got the better of me when I received some samples of POM Wonderful juice a few weeks back and I decided that I needed to experience this deliciously different fruit in its fresh form. Coincidentally Kroger had them on sale that same week and I bought two to experiment with. After researching online what the heck I was supposed to do with this beautiful magenta fruit, I learned that it is best to peel it in a bowl of water, thus enabling the collection of the seeds, or arils, without making a total juicy mess of your kitchen. Easy enough.

Then came the taste test. Completely, and I mean completely, different from what I'd expected. Not a bad different, mind you, just different. After I'd eaten several of the arils, I offered some to hubby for his opinion and I think his description of the taste/texture actually summed up what I was thinking but unable to put into words. "Like fruity-juicy corn kernels," he said. "Or maybe grapes with fiber," he added after the second bite. I knew exactly what he was trying to express. Crunchy and juicy with a bit of chew, we finally decided. And perfect as a topping for this stuffed chicken and spinach salad. I gotta tell you, I'm hooked!

Stuffed Chicken And Spinach Salad

For the vinaigrette (from POM Wonderful):

1/3 cup POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
1/3 cup arils from 1 large POM Wonderful Pomegranate (optional)
1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
1/3 cup red or white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons grated red or brown onion
1/2 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Score 1 fresh pomegranate and place in a bowl of water. Break open the pomegranate underwater to free the arils (seed sacs). The arils will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the membrane will float to the top. Sieve and put the arils in a separate bowl. Reserve 1/3 cup of the arils from fruit and set aside. (Refrigerate or freeze remaining arils for another use.) In a screw-top jar or plastic container with tight-fitting lid, combine juice, the 1/3 cup arils and remaining dressing ingredients. Cover and shake well. Set aside or refrigerate for up to 2 days before serving.

For the chicken:

For each serving you'll need one boneless, skinless chicken breast, 1 ounce blue cheese crumbles, one TBSP toasted chopped pecans, and one slice of center cut bacon.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pound chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap or waxed paper to 1/4-1/2" thickness. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle blue cheese crumbles and pecans on breast then roll the breast, wrap with bacon and secure with toothpicks.

Heat one TBSP olive oil in a skillet. Brown chicken pieces on all sides (5 minutes) then place on a baking sheet and transfer to oven to finish cooking, about 15 minutes more. Remove from oven. Remove toothpicks.

Fill salad plates with spinach leaves. Place chicken breast on top of spinach and drizzle with the vinaigrette.


Moogie said...

Mags, It looks so great! Did you enter it in the contest?

Mags said...

Moogie: No, I didn't because the vinaigrette recipe actually came from their website.

June said...

Fabulous Mags and thanks for the method on getting the seeds out of the pomegranate. Wish I'd known that last year when we were harvesting our own - we might not have needed to repaint the kitchen. LOL

Mags said...

June: They're messy little things aren't they. So tasty though!

Velva said...

I smiled when I read that you used pomegranate juice primairly for cocktails-Me too!
This stuffed chicken on a bed of spinach with pomegranate vinaigrette dressing is absolutely delightful-not too mention healthy too.

stephchows said...

lol, pom martinis are delicious but the fruit is a bit different huh :)

Rosemary & Garlic said...

Mags, isn't that a little too healthy of a post??

Dyan said...

I grew up referring to them as " INDIAN APPLES"...just shared one with our 4 and 5 year old grandbabies and they loved them!

Mags said...

Velva: Gotta love those pomogranatinis!

Steph: Yeah, definitely different!

Rosemary: LOL! Just wait until you see my next two posts. No need to worry.

Dyan: Indian apples... that's interesting! (Hug those grandbabies for me)

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

I did the same thing... got some of the POM Wonderful in the mail and then found them on sale at the store the same week. I'm totally hooked on the pomegranate seeds now.