Friday, June 20, 2014

Southwestern Salad with Marinated Chicken

Summer Salad Series
Salad #4
South Western Salad with Marinated Chicken

 My family and I agree that this is the best salad I've made this summer yet. With the marinated chicken, it's a main course and it is refreshing and delicious. There are 3 parts to the salad: the chicken, the salad itself, and the dressing. It is all relatively easy and versatile. I will try to explain the different variations you can do to make this work for you.

 To begin, mix up the marinade using the ingredients below.

 If you don't have fresh cilantro, you can use dried. Also, the jalapenos add heat. It's not overwhelming when combined with the salad ingredients, but it is there. If you don't like that much heat, use a milder pepper like Anaheim or whatever you have in your fridge. Also, the type of chicken isn't important. It will be shredded in the end. You can use boneless or bone-in. I used chicken quarters because they were on sale. Put your chicken in a baggie and cover with the marinade. Let it sit in your fridge for several hours.

After it has set, bake or grill the chicken until it's done. I chose to bake mine, because I personally have a tendency to dry out the chicken if I grill it. I think it would taste really good grilled. Use whatever method that works best for you. For the record, I baked my chicken at 375 degrees for about an hour. It was falling off the bone. This time will vary depending on the type and amount of chicken you have.

When it's finished let it cool, and then pull the chicken off the bone into bite sized pieces. Set aside.

Now for the salad. This is the easy part.

Chop up a head of romaine lettuce.
Drain and rinse a can of corn and black beans
Dice 1/2 a cup of red onion

Toss all of these ingredients together.

You can toss in the chicken here, or you can serve it on top of the salad. 

Now for the dressing. Easy as pie. Take 1/2 a cup of ranch dressing and add a couple of Tablespoons of your favorite barbeque sauce. I personally prefer a more savory sauce on this salad as opposed to a sweet one, but try out what you think would taste good. 

Here's how to build the salad:
Top the salad greens with the chicken (unless you mixed the chicken in). Sprinkle cheese and tortilla chips on top, then add the dressing. That's it! It is so good!  We had no leftovers on this one. Even my boys had seconds and ate every bite.

 Here are the other salads in my Summer Salad Series:

1.) Grilled Corn Salad with Basil Dressing
2.) Watermelon Salad with Balsamic Dressing
3.) Cucumber Dill Greek Yogurt Salad
4.) Caprese Salad with Basil Pesto

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