This Warm Chicken and Brie Salad with Griddled Peaches is packed full of summery flavours textures and colours. It makes a fabulous summer meal, perfect for sharing with friends and family.
Baron Bigod Raw Milk Brie
This fantastic summer salad was inspired by a recent visit with the Guild of Food Writers to Fen Farm Dairy in Bungay Norfolk where they make the most amazing raw milk Brie called Baron Bigod.
We have owned a holiday cottage in north Suffolk near the Norfolk border for over 25 years and one of the reasons we love the area so much is the abundance of great locally produced foods.
I was delighted to get the chance to visit this farm which is about 10 miles away from our cottage and during the visit, I was able to see how the cheese was produced and see the cattle grazing in the nearby meadows.
The dairy is right next to the milking parlour so you couldn't get fresher milk. The cheese making is quite labour intensive as it is all made by hand, right down to the wrapping and packaging. Although a machine have been allowed in for the salting of the cheese, because of the consistency this brings.
Fen Farm Dairy
There is a reason why the cheese tastes so good and that is the care and love that goes into the whole process from beginning to end. Starting with the caring for the herd of Montbeliade and Friesians right down to the hand packing of the finished cheeses.
You can read more about my Foodie tour of the Waveney Valley here.
Warm Chicken and Brie salad with Griddled Peaches
When you start with an ingredient as good as this Baron Bigod Brie any recipe should showcase it at its best. With the current hot spell we are having a salad seemed a good option. After all the key to a great salad is to use good quality fresh ingredients.
Cheese goes very well with grilled chicken and to complement the particular creamy tanginess of the cheese I decided to add some griddled peaches. These are arranged on a bed of leaves with a few chopped pecan nuts to add texture.
Cider and Honey Vinegar Dressing
All that's left to complete the salad is a dressing. As I wanted this dish to showcase local produce, I decided to use an Aspalls Cyder vinegar as they are based in Suffolk. I particularly like a new vinegar of theirs; Raw Apple Cyder Vinegar with Honey which has just a little note of sweetness to it. Perfect for salads. Combined with some locally produced cold pressed rapeseed oil from Hill Farm Oils, it made the perfect dressing for this salad.
Now for the purpose of clarity I have not been sponsored to write this post by any of the producers but as a member of the Guild of Food Writers I have been lucky enough to visit quite a few food producers over the years Many of these food producers are small independent family producers, make great food and so I like to champion the of buying fresh, seasonal, local produce whenever possible.
If you don't live in East Anglia then obviously these will not be local to you, so feel free to substitute your own local fresh cheese. You can use another brand of cider vinegar or even white wine vinegar and you can replace the cold pressed rapeseed oil with extra virgin olive oil. Just don't be tempted to substitute with the more commonly available standard rapeseed oils often labelled as just vegetable oil which is much more processed and does not have a good enough flavour for a salad dressing.
However, I think these particular ingredients are exceptional and worth seeking out for their flavour and quality. They are also available by mail order.
Of course the peaches and nuts are not local ingredients but they do go very well together in this dish, and peaches are in season as I write.
How to Make the Warm Chicken and Brie Salad Step by Step
Warm Chicken and Brie Salad with Griddled Peaches
- 2 peaches
- 2 chicken breasts skinned and boned
- 150 g Brie sliced
- 200 g mixed salad leaves
- 50 g pecan nuts coarsely chopped
- oil for brushing
- 2 tbsp raw cyder vinegar with honey or cider vinegar plus ½ tsp honey
- 3 tbsp cold pressed rapeseed oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the Salad Dressing
- First, make the salad dressing. Place all the ingredients in a small screw top jar and shake well or whisk together in a bowl with a fork. Set aside until required
To make the Salad
- Stone and cut the peaches into thick slices.
- Place the chicken breasts between two sheets of cling film and flatten slightly with the flat side of a meat mallet or a rolling pin. Cut into strips.
- Meanwhile preheat a griddle pan. Brush the peaches with a little oil and cook on the griddle for 1 -2 minutes each side until seared with the griddle marks, turning once. Set to one side.
- Next, Brush the chicken strips with a little oil and cook on the griddle for 3-4 minutes each side or until cooked through.
- While the chicken is cooking arrange the salad leaves on a large serving platter or individual plates and cut the brie into slices if you haven't already done so.
- As soon as the chicken is cooked arrange on top of the salad leaves. Then add the peaches and the brie.
- Drizzle over the salad dressing giving it one last whisk or shake before you do so. Sprinkle over the pecan nuts and serve immediately.