Chicken, Brie, Mandarin, Orange Salad With Pecans

I had a delicious salad for brunch one day & decided to try to re-create it at home. I think it came out pretty well! I always liked to serve this in the corporate dining room when the Mandarin oranges arrived at the market. Makes a nice lunch during the holidays.

Makes 6 Servings

5 or 6 Mandarin oranges, peeled, white pith, as much as possible removed, broken into segments
2 large bone-in chicken breasts, poached, chilled & cut into slices, chunks or strips
½ cup pecans, toasted** chopped coarsely
8 to 10 oz. Brie cheese (or Camembert), rind removed or not, cut into thin slices with a wet knife
4 Belgian endives, separated into spears
1 small radicchio, shredded into thin strips
1 head of curly endive, discarding the tough outer leaves, or 2 heads of frisee lettuce
1 head red leaf lettuce
Poppy Seed Dressing (recipe below)

Poach the chicken breasts by placing into a pot of simmering chicken stock, enough to cover the chicken;** cover & simmer chicken until the juices run clear. Remove from the heat & leave the lid on. The chicken will continue to cook a bit more in the stock while cooling. After about an hour, leaving the chicken in the stock, place in the fridge & chill until cold. When ready to make the salad, remove the chicken from the fridge; reserving the stock for another use. Remove the meat from the bones & cut into julienne, chunks, or slices.

Combine all the greens, except the Belgian endive. Top with chicken, Mandarin orange segments, brie slices & pecans. Serve with the poppy seed dressing.

Poppy Seed Dressing:

2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. sugar or honey, or to taste
1 – 2 tsp. Pernod (anise flavoured liquor)
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
2/3 cup canola or other flavourless oil
1 – 2 Tbsp. poppy seeds

Combine all dressing ingredients, in a medium sized bowl, except the oil & poppy seeds. Whisk to combine. Very slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly, until the dressing is emulsified (ingredients will have come together to form a creamy dressing); add the poppy seeds; whisking just to combine. Chill until ready to use.

** To see how to toast the nuts, please go to Toasting Nuts.

**If you would like to make your own stock, please go to Making Stock.

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