Loaded with 5.5 grams of fiber in each medium-sized fruit, pears poached in spice-infused syrup give them a pie-like flavor that turns an ordinary salad into a remarkable bowl of tasty goodness when pared (no pun intended) with chicken, cranberries, and walnuts over sweet baby spinach greens.
This salad honors America’s oldest cultivated fruit tree, a pear tree brought from Europe around 1630 and planted in Danvers, Essex County, Massachusetts. In this recipe, we’ve used fresh Bartlett pears poached in bourbon whiskey* and brown sugar to excite the taste buds, making this most memorable flavorsome salad.
I love summer salads especially when they include a lot of flavor from unexpected ingredients. One of my favorite fruit alternatives to extended storage apples is fresh Bartlett summer pears. As well as being economical, this versatile fruit with high-fiber content is great for dieters, your heart, and gut health too.
Early summer pears when poached become fork tender yet hold their shape when well poached, taking a salad to a new level of delicious. In this recipe I’ve included two options for poaching the pears. With either method the poaching liquid is made by cooking the pears in a small amount of butter, oil, sugar, spice, and liquid that reduces into an amazing glaze which is then used for cooking the chicken tenders.
Both options are easy and delicious.
#1 – (Non-alcoholic reduction) uses lemon, spice, apple cider, and water as the liquid.
#2 – (Alcoholic reduction) uses bourbon whiskey** as the liquid.
The bottom line is that if you like pears and chicken, you’ll be amazed by the ton of flavor this salad offers up in an easy, simple meal.
*To Sip or Not to Sip? The facts About Bourbon Whiskey and Gluten[read more=”Click here to Read More” less=”Read Less”]
*Bourbon whiskey is a type of alcohol spirit typically made from at least 51 percent corn, which is a gluten-free grain. However, the rest of the mash that goes into making bourbon (up to 49 percent) generally comes from gluten grains including wheat, barley, and rye all of which are the three main gluten grains. So, you would logically think that bourbon whiskey isn’t gluten-free.
If you’re trying to determine if it is gluten-free or if it isn’t, it depends on who you ask. According to the National Institutes of Health and several of the Celiac organizations in the US, they say that distilled alcohol is considered gluten-free because the process of distillation removes the harmful gluten protein up to 20 ppm.
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which regulates alcoholic beverages in the US, has a policy that beverages made from gluten grains cannot legally carry the gluten-free claim, since gluten (or, fragments of the gluten protein) remaining in such drinks may not be detected easily with current technology.
Producers are allowed to truthfully explain on their labels how the alcohol was manufactured to remove the gluten, as long as it also contains a disclaimer that the product may contain gluten, and the labeling is obvious. The advantage of this is that if an alcoholic drink contains a gluten-free label, you know that no gluten grain is used in any part of the manufacturing process.
According to the majority of Celiac Disease experts, most whiskey is safe to drink for Celiacs. And, the majority of people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity don’t seem to react to alcohol distilled from gluten grains. That said, it’s not clear how many people get sick from these beverages. It has been documented that a substantial minority do react, which is why there are controversy and disagreement among the experts as to whether it is safe. Because everyone reacts differently, you will have to decide to drink or use at your own risk.
So, Do You, or Don’t You Use Bourbon?
**Try with caution is the recommendation when drinking bourbon and other gluten-containing alcoholic beverages, especially if you have a celiac diagnosis or are sensitive to gluten.
There are options in craft distilled spirits made with 100 percent corn and sorghum. But be aware that most make no claims that they are gluten-free or free of gluten cross-contamination. Most distilleries, even most smaller craft distilleries, also process gluten grains.[/read]
A TIDBIT OR TWO ABOUT KYMBERLEY:
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I’m Kymberley: former nonprofit director, now full-time blogger. My husband Mark, and I share our rural home in the heart of Central Wisconsin in an area known as “The Holyland.” We love visiting cool places across America, learning about the food, the people, culture, and the local history. Our favorite things are eating great food, dark chocolate, weekend coffee, lazy summer days, all sorts of music, and time with our grandchildren.
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