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Phoenix, Arizona, United States
The most important thing in my life is my family. I love my dear husband and 4 wonderful children (ages 11 through 18). I am a stay-at-home mom (my dream job!). Some of my favorite things to do include cooking (and eating!), photography, reading, piano, flute, watching my favorite TV shows, swimming, traveling, and most recently...using the rip stick with my kids. I would love to attend culinary school someday & fit my love of photography in with that somehow. My dream vacation is Italy - something I was recently blessed to experience! I'd love to return and see more of that beautiful and DELICIOUS country! My days are usually full of running kids to and from activities - scouts, sports, music and church. Sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe, but I absolutely LOVE my crazy life and the people I am lucky enough to share it with!

Friday, April 9, 2010

ROAST CHICKEN WALDORF SALAD WITH PECANS AND ROSEMARY (from Art Smith's KITCHEN LIFE)

There are many versions of this lunchroom classic. While most suffer from blandness, mine gets its oomph from roasted chicken breasts, rosemary, and toasted pecans. Roasting the chicken gives it a firmer texture and a meatier flavor than the traditional poached method, but you can use any leftover chicken you have on hand, even grilled chicken. This makes a pretty darned good chicken salad sandwich on toasted wheat bread, too.

Three 9-ounce chicken breasts with skin and bone
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup regular or light mayonnaise
1/3 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 celery rib, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 scallion, white and green parts, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 head Boston or butter lettuce, torn into individual leaves

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F.

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and place in a small roasting pan. Roast until the chicken is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast reads 170°F, about 40 minutes. Cool completely. Discard the skin and bones, and cut the meat into bite-sized pieces. You should have 2 cups of chopped chicken.

Combine the chicken, mayonnaise, pecans, apple, celery, scallion, and rosemary in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

For each serving, make a bed of lettuce leaves on a plate. Mound the salad on the lettuce and serve immediately.

MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS

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