Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders and Salad with a Tangy Maple Dressing

*Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders and Salad with Tangy Maple Dressing*
Serves 4-6

This is one of my favourite salads to eat in the warmer weather.  I love the crunch of the chicken and the crisp salad greens and it's sweet and tangy dressing.

Chicken Tenders:
vegetable oil for frying
1 1/2 - 2 pounds chicken tenders
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten together with a bit of milk or water
1 cup dry bread crumbs or cracker meal
1 cup of pecans, finely chopped or ground
1/2 tsp nutmeg, freshly ground
the zest of one orange

Dressing:
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup of barbeque sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
the juice of one orange
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Salad:

3 hearts of romaine lettuce, chopped
a handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
6 spring onions, sliced diagonally

Place the flour in one shallow dish.  Place the eggs in another shallow dish, next to the flour. Place the bread crumbs, nutmeg, orange zest and pecans in third shallow dish, mixing them together well.

Season the chicken tenders with salt and pepper and then roll them in the flour.  Dip them into the beaten egg and then finally coat them in the crumb mixture.

Heat some cooking oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Fry the tenders in the hot oil in small batches for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes on each side.  Drain well on paper towels.

Whisk together all the dressing ingredients until amalgamated.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Combine the chopped lettuce and the spring onions in a large salad bowl.  Toss with 3/4 cup of the dressing.  Divide the mixture amongst 4 to 6 chilled serving plates. 
Top each with several of the chicken tenders.  Drizzle the remaining dressing over top.  Serve.
 
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