Thursday, September 10, 2009

Grilled Chicken and Pear Salad from “Chefs of the Triangle”

January 2009 1-11-2009 1-48-08 PM 765x453

This recipe is from a newly published book called “Chefs of the Triangle, Their Lives, Recipes and Restaurants” and the author is a friend of mine – Ann Prospero.  Ann has been working hard at interviewing chefs in the North Carolina region known as the Triangle – Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. It’s an area with a food scene that has grown in reputation along with the number of talented chefs who have chosen to make their mark there.


Ann’s book, published by John F. Blair, contains not only informative and well-written interviews about 34 leading local chefs, but also includes 60-plus recipes they were willing to share. All have been taste-tasted by volunteers (like me) who found them to be imaginative and delicious. I’m providing you with one that I tested, but there are scores more that might whet your appetite, including a few that I can’t wait to try: seared scallops with braised fennel; bourbon chocolate hazelnut pie; and pecan-pineapple pound cake with rum. If you can’t find the book in your local bookstores, it’s available at and

This recipe comes from James Reale, executive chef at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill.

printer-friendly recipe here 

Frisee Greens, Chicken, Grilled Pear, Caramelized Onions, Toasted Pecan, and Goat Cheese with Sherry Dressing

serves 1 - 4

1 ½ cups frisee greens

3 ounces grilled chicken breast

1 Bosc Pear, peeled, cored, and cut in quarters

1 Vidalia onion, peeled and cut in julienne

1 tablespoon pecans, toasted

1 tablespoon goat cheese, crumbled, plus extra for plate

½ cup aged sherry vinegar

1 teaspoon roasted garlic

1 shallot

¼ cup honey

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 ½ cups grape seed oil, or similar oil (CCL note - I used olive oil)

Salt and Pepper to taste


Rinse frisee greens in water, and then remove as much water as possible. Cut frisee a couple to times with knife.

Grill chicken breast with salt and pepper. Let cool and then cut into four strips. Grill pear on all sides for about 5 minutes.

Sauté Vidalia onions in pan over medium heat until sugars caramelize and onion is brown. About 15 minutes.

For dressing, in blender add sherry vinegar, roasted garlic, shallot, hone, Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper. Blend for 30 seconds and adjust seasoning as needed. Set aside.

Arrange plate:

In a mixing bowl, place frisee, onions, pecans, goat cheese, 1/8 cup sherry dressing, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well. Place mixture in the middle of a large plate.

Place four slices of grilled chicken around salad mix. Slice two quartered pears into fans (do not cut pear all the way through so it will fan out) and place on top of salad mix. Place remaining crumbled goat cheese, pecans, and a little dressing around the plate.

Ciao Chow Linda’s note: For two people, I would double the amount of chicken, and rub it with some olive oil before grilling. I also ran out of pecans when I made this but had some candied pecans on hand. They were terrific in this recipe.  The salad dressing (make sure you use the sherry vinegar that’s called for) is really great, but it makes A LOT. You’ll have enough for at least half a dozen more salads, but the dressing keeps well in the refrigerator.


  1. from the pears to the glaze this looks spectacular - we are on some kind of similar wave length because I I made a pear side just the other day....

  2. I was looking for a salad for dinner - as we are all eating at different times tonight. This is perfect timing because it looks luscious. And it's all still fresh and in-season! Many thanks.

  3. That grilled pear is the perfect compliment. Nice recipe! This is now on the To-Do List :-)

  4. Oh thanks for this preview of the book. It does sound great. This salad looks so delicious, I love mixing fruits in with proteins, and the salad format is always a winner!

  5. This looks so good! I might need to add this cookbook to my collection!

  6. Nice salad Linda, I love how the dressing sounds, and lucky you for getting to taste test! Congrats to your friend on her big accomplishment.

  7. oh my! what an incredible recipe! everything...all the incredients are making my mouth water!

  8. Mmmm..pears, goat cheese and pecans ... sounds wonderful!

    I'll have to tell my friend about this cookbook. Her daughter received her graduate degree from Chapel Hill and they enjoyed the cusine of the area.