Impressive Roasted Chicken with Caramelized Pears

By Michael Harris-Arzon, The Simplistic Professional

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We all have those times when we try something new at a restaurant and instantly fall in love with the dish.  Years ago, I was having brunch with my grandmother at the W Hotel in New York City and had the roasted chicken and caramelized pear salad.  

The flavor combination was something I never would have thought to work together and melded so perfectly in your mouth that I asked for a second meal to take home.  This was the first time I tried recreating a dish from another chef with out a recipe to go by.  I must have made it every night for a week before I got it right and have made it regularly since… when I want to impress guests.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 Lb. Chicken Cutlets
  • 4 Pears
  • 4 Cups Arugula Salad Greens
  • 3 Tbs. Butter, Salted
  • 1/2 Cup Pecan Halves
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
  • Olive Oil
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Applewood Seasoning
  • Salt
  • Cracked Peppercorns

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Peel and cut your pears into quarters.  Set aside for the moment.
  3. Into a small, greased casserole dish, place your chicken cutlets.  Be sure to not crowd the cutlets so that their is a little space between each.  Lightly sprinkle Italian seasoning and cracked peppercorns across the chicken.  Drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Roast on the center rack for 10-15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and golden brown on top.  Tip:  Since you are using precut chicken cutlets, the sizes will vary and that is why the timing isn’t specific.  Just be sure to check on them regularly to ensure they don’t get over cooked.   A good rule of thumb when cooking any meal that takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish, is to stay in the kitchen.
  5. While the chicken is roasting, in a large skillet (cast iron is preferred) add 1 tbs. of butter and your pecan halves.  Cook over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes until the pecans start to brown and soften.  Immediately remove the pecans from the butter with a slotted spoon.  Place onto a small plate with paper towels to absorb the excess butter.
  6. Add the other 2 tbs. of butter and once melted add your pear quarters.  They will cook pretty quickly so be sure to move them around to keep from sticking and once they start to brown on the bottom, turn once and continue cooking until tender.  Once tender and browned immediately remove from the pan to stop the cooking process.
  7. Once your chicken is cooked through, remove from the oven and let rest a few minutes while you prepare the plates.
  8. Onto each plate add 1 cup of Arugula to the center of the plate.  Then alternate adding chicken cutlets and pears around the plate on top of the salad greens.  Tip:  The heat from the chicken and pears will slightly wilt the greens so there is no need to do so ahead of time.  Sprinkle 1/4 of your pecans across your dish and then sprinkle 1/4 of your shredded parmesan cheese to finish plating your dish.
  9. Serve and enjoy!
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