Poached Pear & Chicken Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

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.
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Poached Pear & Chicken Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

Poached Pear & Chicken Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

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

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 Bourbon 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.

Learn how to adjust the serving size.
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Poached Pear & Chicken Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

Poached Pear & Chicken Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

Poached pears a versatile fruit with high-fiber content is great for dieters, your heart, and gut health too!
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Brunch, Dinner, entree, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: avocado, chicken wings, cranberry, pear, poppyseed, spinich
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 959kcal

Equipment

  • Small skillet

Ingredients

Option #1 – Pie Spiced Poached Pears

  • 1 small Pear cored, skin removed and cubed
  • 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Butter
  • 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Apple Cider
  • 1 tablespoon Water
  • 1/4 teaspoon Lemon Zest
  • Dash Allspice
  • Dash Cinnamon

Option #2 – Bourbon Whiskey* Poached Pears

  • 1 small Pear cored, skin removed and cubed
  • 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Butter
  • 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Bourbon Whiskey

Instructions

  • Heat oil and butter in small skillet. Add pears and cook for about 2 minutes or until they are beginning to brown. Sprinkle the pears with the brown sugar and add the remaining ingredients for the option you’ve chosen. Turn the pears to coat evenly with the poaching liquid mixture while it reduces. When the pears are fork tender, the liquid should be reduced to about half, remove the pears to a plate to cool.
  • Add the chicken to the skillet with the reduced poaching liquid. Salt and pepper the chicken and cook 2-3 minutes until done, turning the chicken halfway through. Remove the cooked chicken and slice into bite-size pieces.
  • Arrange a layer of baby spinach on a salad plate. Add avocado, cooked chicken pieces, pears, cranberries, and nuts.
  • Serve with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing. Enjoy!

Footnotes

*Try bourbon with caution. The recommendation when drinking bourbon and other gluten-containing alcoholic beverages, especially if you have a celiac diagnosis or are sensitive to gluten.

Copyright © 2017-2019 Kymberley Pekrul | G-Free Deliciously | gfreedeliciously.com

Recipe Card powered by WP Recipe Maker | Nutrition by NutriFox

(Nutritional values are an approximation. Actual nutritional values may vary due to preparation techniques, variations related to suppliers, regional and seasonal differences, or rounding.)

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G-Free Deliciously

Being creative, cooking, fresh veggies, the violin, decorating for holidays, sewing, hand-quilting, cowgirl boots, country music, fresh herbs in pots, blowing dandelions to the wind, walking barefoot in the grass, hanging out with eclectic interesting people, reading, writing, warm lazy summer days, and yoga!

Gluten, cilantro, mixed vegetables (the frozen kind I grew up with), negativism, rudeness, narcissism, overstaying a welcome,
not helping out, liars, promiscuity, cockiness, know-it-alls, being overly-dramatic, goal-less-ness, poor hygiene, chauvinism, lacking a sense of humor, excessive competitiveness, Laziness, horrifying spellers, people-bashing, criticism and mockery of others and their beliefs, flakiness (because flaky people are really unappealing), more swagger than substance, people who constantly manage others (those folks who think they have all the answers…)

Lambrusco, my iPad, popcorn suppers, dark chocolate, cookbooks, Almond-Rocca, historical romances, sun-bathing, weekend coffee with a good book in bed, PBS cooking shows, romantic comedies, cozy sweaters, fuzzy socks, and fragrant bubble baths with soft music and wine…

Say please and thank you, LAUGH, Pray often, ENCOURAGE others, Be KIND, HONEST, HAPPY, Keep your PROMISES, Be GRATEFUL, Wash your hands, FORGIVE yourself and others, LISTEN, Have FAITH, Be CONFIDENT, Honor your parents, CHERISH your children and grandchildren, TREASURE your family, ABIDE in GOD’s love, Be POLITE, Guard your HEART, SEEK your purpose, FEED your mind, body and soul, Be HOPEFUL, Resist temptation, Lay your burdens down, TRUST your gut, CONNECT with nature, Know that GOD made you perfect just the way you are, SERVE others, LIVE to love, Be COURAGEOUS, Shine bright, OPEN your mind, RESPECT differences, HONOR your inner hunger, SING loud, Be PROUD of who you are, Practice PATIENCE, Never give up, WEATHER the storms of life, Say I love you, LOVE one another

  • I’ve traveled to 32 states in the USA where I’ve enjoyed the food, history, people and the local culture while visiting.
  • Among the states, I’ve lived in are Arizona, California, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
  • My favorite island is Maui.
  • I’ve also been to Canada and Mexico.
  • I rode horses as a kid, and barrel-raced.
  • I broke my neck when I was 18 and went to senior prom in a neck brace.
  • As a little girl, I grew up living next door to my grandma and grandpa on a small lake in rural southern Michigan.
  • The first thing I learned to cook was pancakes.
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I'm so happy you're here...

Where my passion is all about helping people to create lasting change in their health and life by making delicious, nutritious choices for eating better. Here you'll find easy recipes that use only real, whole foods with ingredients you can trust. Gluten-free meals that never, ever compromise on taste, that save you time - even when life gets busy.

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