Chopped Kale, Chicken and Apples Salad
- Place golden raisins in a small, microwave safe glass bowl or jar. Add 1 teaspoon of water or apple juice. Cover container with plastic wrap and place in microwave. Cook on high power for 30 seconds. Set aside to cool. (This will plump and soften the raisins.)
- For the dressing, bring the 3 cups of apple juice to a boil in a wide, medium size pan (the wider the pan, the less time the juice will take to boil down. Reduce to a steady, strong simmer and cook for about 25-30 minutes, until juice is reduced to 1/2 cup. Set aside to cool completely.
- Combine reduced apple juice, shallots, vinegar and salt in a blender container. Blend on high speed for 1 minute. Pour into a glass jar or other container. Slowly add oil, in a thin, steady stream while stirring vigorously with a fork or small whisk. Continue stirring till oil is completely incorporated. Add yogurt and stir till blended. Finally add poppy seeds and pepper. Stir to combine.
- For the pecans, heat a small, non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. Add oil and maple syrup and stir. Add pecans and and salt. Cook, stirring continuously for 3-4 minutes or until nuts begin to turn golden brown. Turn out onto a plate to cool.
- Add chopped kale to a large bowl. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the dressing over the kale and massage kale with your fingers for 1minute or until kale softens and begins to deepen in color. (This makes the kale more tender and less bitter).
- Add the remaining salad ingredients to the bowl. Drizzle another 2-3 tablespoons of the dressing over the salad and toss with tongs for 2 large forks till dressing is evenly distributed. Serve in large, shallow bowls topped with a scatter of the maple pecans. Pass extra dressing at the table.