January 13, 2013

Fuji Apple Salad with Homemade Apple Chips

I absolutely love Panera's Fuji Apple Chicken Salad!  Loaded with toasted pecans, red onion, gorgonzola, and crisp apple chips-all the flavors go so well together.  Well, making the salad at home is the easy part, but I always say the dressing makes the salad.  I didn't really care for the vinegar based recipe that I tried.  Then I found this one with just three simple ingredients......apple juice concentrate, honey, and sour cream.  I was skeptical, so I quartered the recipe.  It actually tastes great!  The sweet-tart flavor is a nice contrast to the sharpness of the gorgonzola.  I think it would go well on a fruit salad too.  Now as for the apple chips.......I was so excited they turned out!  A few years ago, I thought it would be fun to make my own apple chips.  Well, after about 8 hours in the oven, who know's how much extra on the electric bill, and permanent apple ring stains left on my Vollrath cookie sheets..........we ended up with rubbery apple slices.  Granted, they tasted good, the kids loved them, but you certainly couldn't call them apple chips.  Well, I tried once more, this time using a mandoline to slice them really thin, like 1/8".  They were perfectly crisp in about 30 minutes and tasted great!  I'll definitely be making these for the kids to snack on!  I made this without chicken at the time, but you can use rotisserie chicken breast or cook your own.

greens of choice (I love using Boston and green lettuces)
shredded rotisserie chicken breasts
toasted pecans
red onions, sliced
gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
dried cherries or cranberries


1 can frozen apple juice concentrate
2 cups sour cream
4 tablespoons honey

Whisk ingredients together in a bowl.  Chill and serve with salad just before serving.  (I quartered this and ended up with exactly 7 ounces of dressing.)

Baked Apple Chips:

Fuji apples

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Use a mandoline or a sharp knife to slice apples very thin.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place apple slices in a single layer on baking sheet and bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, until crisp.  (You may need more time, but surprisingly, mine were done in about 30.)  Enjoy!

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