Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Southwestern BBQ Chicken Salad

I think I have a new favorite salad--one that is definitely going into the regular dinner rotation. I made this last night and WOW it was delicious! The barbeque and cilantro flavors worked surprisingly well together, the tortilla strips added the perfect crunch, and the whole thing just tasted so fresh. Perfect for a summer day. Original recipe found here.

Southwestern BBQ Chicken Salad

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 cup BBQ sauce (to taste)

1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
1 ear of corn (or 1 can, drained)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 green onions, chopped
1/3 bunch cilantro, chopped
3 tomatoes, diced
2 avocados, diced

thin corn tortilla strips, fried in oil

Boil corn for 4-5 minutes, then remove from heat and rinse with cold water. Cut kernels from cob and chill. Fry corn tortilla strips in a deep fryer or skillet, then drain and salt. Stir shredded chicken in with the BBQ sauce until well coated. Layer in a large bowl (or on separate salad bowls) lettuce, cilantro, corn, beans, onions, tomatoes, avocados, and chicken. Top with tortilla strips. Drizzle ranch dressing over the top and enjoy!

My notes:

Because of the time it takes to chop up the veggies and prepare the salad, it helps me to have pre-cooked chicken on hand. Last time chicken was on sale, I slow-cooked a whole bag of it with some broth, seasoned salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Then I shredded it and froze it in batches. For this salad I took a bag out and mixed the BBQ sauce right into the bag.

You could easily used canned or frozen corn and I probably will on some occasions. If you want to be healthier you can also bake the tortilla strips (sprayed with cooking oil) instead of frying, as in the original recipe. But I love the deep fried strips.

Also, because of picky eaters, I kept all the toppings separate and just put them out on the table so everyone could build their own salad. I think I am the only one who put on every single topping. And I LOVED it.

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