Warm Chicken Salad with Pine Nuts

September/October 1991

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (11 votes)

Poaching chicken breasts in a mixture of balsamic vinegar and chicken broth makes them unusually tender. The poaching liquid then becomes the base for a slightly sweet, intensely flavored dressing. Any leftover poaching liquid can be stored in the freezer to use later in sauce or dressing.

Warm Chicken Salad with Pine Nuts

Makes: 4 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 2 sprigs rosemary plus 1 teaspoon chopped, or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried, divided
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed (1 pound total)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallots
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 cups torn mixed salad greens, such as curly endive, escarole, spinach, Belgian endive, arugula, radicchio and/or watercress, washed and thoroughly dried
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, roasted (see Tip) and cut into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, preferably flat-leaved


  1. Combine broth, vinegar, garlic, fresh rosemary sprigs (or 1 teaspoon dried) and bay leaf in a wide saucepan or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add chicken breasts, cover and poach gently just until the flesh is no longer pink inside, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and keep warm.
  2. Boil the poaching liquid until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Strain, discard garlic, rosemary and bay leaf and pour 1/2 cup poaching liquid into a small bowl. Whisk in oil, shallots and pepper. Season with salt if desired.
  3. Toss greens in a large bowl with 1/4 cup of the dressing. Arrange on individual plates. Carve chicken into thin slices and arrange over greens. Garnish with red pepper and drizzle the remaining dressing over chicken and peppers. Sprinkle pine nuts, parsley and remaining 1 teaspoon fresh (or 1/2 teaspoon dried) rosemary over the chicken

Tips & Notes

  • Tip: To oven-roast peppers:
  • 1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Place a wire rack on a large baking sheet. Arrange whole bell peppers on the rack.
  • 2. Roast peppers in the center of the oven, turning occasionally with tongs, until blackened in places, 30 to 40 minutes.
  • 3. Transfer the peppers to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let steam for 10 minutes. Uncover and let cool.
  • 4. With a paring knife, remove stems, skins and seeds. If serving as antipasto, combine accumulated juices with peppers.


Per serving: 238 calories; 12 g fat (2 g sat, 7 g mono); 63 mg cholesterol; 8 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 26 g protein; 3 g fiber; 169 mg sodium; 612 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (153% daily value), Vitamin A (86% dv), Folate (33% dv), Selenium (29% dv), Potassium (17% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2

Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 1 fat

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