Baby Greens, Apple-Smoked Chicken and Gouda/Pepper Jack Salad with Amber Bock Dressing
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups pecans
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Salad dressing:
- 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/8 cup amber bock beer
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 3/4 cup canola oil
- 1 (3-pound) apple-wood smoked chicken (Smithfield or Nueske)
- 4 ounces Gouda cheese, placed into freezer for 2 hours
- 4 ounces pepper jack cheese, placed into freezer for 2 hours
- 6 cups mixed baby greens, iceberg, and romaine, stems removed, torn into bite-sized pieces and dried in a salad spinner
Mix corn syrup, sugar, water, and salt in a heavy saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Heat until a candy thermometer registers soft ball stage, about 238 degrees F. Remove from heat and stir in pecans, vanilla, and cinnamon. Turn out on waxed paper and pull pecans apart while cooling, being very careful to avoid getting burned! Refrigerate until chilled.
Through the feed tube of a running blender add, 1 at a time, vinegar, beer, salt, pepper, and thyme, and leaving the blender running, add the oil in a slow thin stream. Set aside until needed.
Pull chicken away from bones, and cut into thin strips. Set aside until needed.
Use a vegetable peeler to peel several curls of cheese for garnish and then use a box grater to shred cheese. Toss chicken, greens, shredded cheese and pecans with enough dressing to coat. Garnish with curls of cheese.
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