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Bourbon 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

This salad honors America’s oldest cultivated fruit tree, a pear tree from Europe that arrived in the United States around 1630 and was planted in Danvers, Essex County, Massachusetts.  

For 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.

Poached Pear & Chicken Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

ABOUT THIS RECIPE (per serving)

Gluten FreeHealthy Choices
Servings:  1
AVG. Maker RATING: 
5 from 2 votes
Write a Recipe Review
Prep Time :20 minutes
Cook Time :5 minutes
Total Time :25 minutes
Course : Brunch, Dinner, Entrée, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine : American
Diet : Gluten Free
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.
Calories 959
Fat 76.4
Carbohydrates 58
Protein 14.9

Flavor from Unexpected Ingredients

I love summer salads. I especially get excited when they include a lot of flavors from unexpected ingredients.

Fresh Bartlett summer pears are my favorite fruit alternatives to extended-storage apples. As well as being economical, with their high-fiber content, pears are excellent for dieters, your heart, and your gut health.

The Star of this Salad - Poached Pears

Early summer pears, when poached, become fork-tender yet hold their shape well. On account of not becoming mushy when poached, pears can take a salad to a whole new level of deliciousness.

For this recipe, I’ve included two options for poaching the pears. Either method uses the poaching liquid by cooking the pears in a small amount of butter, oil, sugar, and spice. Then, the liquid reduces into a fantastic glaze 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.

If you like pears and chicken, you’ll be amazed by the ton of flavor this salad offers in an easy, simple meal.

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*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, a gluten-free grain. However, the remaining mash for 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.

But, it depends on who you ask if you’re trying to determine if it is gluten-free.

  • According to the National Institutes of Health and several Celiac organizations in the U.S., distilled alcohol is considered gluten-free because distillation removes the harmful gluten protein up to 20 ppm.
  • Opposite to that is the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which regulates alcoholic beverages in the U.S. Their policy is 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.

TTB Ruling 2020-2 states that producers can 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 prominent. This advantage 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.

What the celiac disease experts say:

  • According to most Celiac Disease experts, most whiskey is safe for Celiacs. They believe most people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity don’t seem to react to alcohol distilled from gluten grains. However, it’s not clear how many people get sick from these beverages. It has been documented that a substantial minority react, which is why experts have controversy and disagreement about whether it is safe. Because everyone responds differently, it is advised that people will have to decide to drink or use the beverages at their own risk.

So, is it Yes or No? Can You or Can’t You Use Bourbon?

**Try Bourbon Whiskey with Caution. The bottom line is when drinking any whiskey or other gluten-containing alcoholic beverages, especially if you have a celiac diagnosis or are sensitive to gluten, go slow. Pick the right time and place. And if you decide to try it, do so when the possible recovery from an adverse effect isn’t going to be a problem.

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Poached Pear & Chicken Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

Poached Pear & Chicken Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

We’ve used fresh Bartlett pears poached in bourbon whiskey* and brown sugar to excite the taste buds, making this most memorable flavorsome salad!
Kymberley @GfreeDeliciously
5 from 2 votes
This recipe may contain affiliate links. For more information, visit our Affiliate Disclosure.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Brunch, Dinner, Entrée, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 959 kcal

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
  • ¼ 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
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INSTRUCTIONS
 

  • Heat oil and butter in a 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 to your chosen option. Turn the pears to coat evenly with the poaching liquid mixture while it reduces. The liquid should be reduced to about half when the pears are fork-tender. 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 it 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!

KITCHEN NOTES

*Try Bourbon Whiskey with Caution. The bottom line is when drinking any whiskey, or other gluten-containing alcoholic beverages, especially if you have a celiac diagnosis or are sensitive to gluten, go slow. Pick the right time and place. And if you decide to try it, do so when the possible recovery from an adverse effect isn't going to be a problem.

Nutrition

Calories: 959kcalCarbohydrates: 58gProtein: 14.9gFat: 76.4gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 10.9gMonounsaturated Fat: 48.2gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 61.8mgSodium: 87.7mgPotassium: 574.3mgFiber: 8.4gSugar: 42.6gVitamin A: 142.8IUVitamin C: 29.4mgCalcium: 62.4mgIron: 1.4mg
Keyword avocado, chicken wings, cranberry, pear, poppyseed, spinich
Tried this recipe?Review it ! Or leave a comment. It’s super helpful for others and us!

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

Copyright © 2017-2023 Kymberley Pekrul | GfreeDeliciously | gfreedeliciously.com | All content and photographs are copyright protected. The sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. However, copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Please read my Photo Use Policy for detailed guidelines and further clarification.

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Kymberley @gfreedeliciously

Hi, I'm Kymberley, the creator of GfreeDeliciously and the Amazing, Glorious Journey Programs. I pray that my work will inspire you to honor your body through God and Good Food from the inside out, all while enjoying your Amazing, Glorious Journey!

Take a peek at the behind GfreeDeliciously

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.
  • The craziest thing I ever made was mint-flavored green cupcakes when I was 13. My family didn’t like them much…
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Kymberley @gfreedeliciously
Coach | Cook | Creator | Publisher

Meet Kymberley [Upson] Pekrul

A professional writer and self-taught Gfree lifestyle expert on [most] gluten-free things, I’ve always loved cooking and creating delicious foods from scratch for myself and those I love.

My journey began when everything I thought I knew about cooking and eating suddenly changed one day when I discovered I was celiac. So, I re-learned how to eat, cook, and navigate through life gluten-free – trusting God and His plan for me.

I live in what’s known as the Holylands of Central Wisconsin. All the recipes you’ll find here are gluten-free and inspired by the people and places I love most. Whenever possible, I cook with seasonal ingredients using whole foods – Making dishes suitable for everyday life and all food lovers gathered at the same table.

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