Southwest Chicken Salad

southwest chicken salad

I have some things in my fridge that are nearing their eat-or-trash date – chicken breasts, leftover cornbread, cilantro, and a bag of mixed greens….I have a can of black beans and some salsa…I’m thinking about a Southwest style chicken salad!

If you ever get the opportunity to go to The Yard House – you MUST try their BBQ chicken entree salad (and a yard of LeftHand Milk Stout….). BBQ chicken, fresh avocado, thinly sliced and fried onions, roasted pasilla peppers –  the mound of toppings almost completely hides the lettuce. But there IS lettuce, so technically it IS a salad – even though it’s more like a borrito sans tortilla shell. Inspired by the Yard House and the items in my fridge – here is my take on a Southwest Chicken Salad.

Citrus & Cilantro vinaigrette

  • cilantro, handful
  • 2 T. citrus  zest
  • 1/4 C. citrus juice (lime and Meyer lemon)
  • 2 T. of  sour cream
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 – 1/2 C. olive oil
  • 1 T. Agave nectar (or honey)
  • 1/2 tsp. each salt, pepper, cumin

In a blender, combine cilantro, lime, garlic, agave and sour cream. Add olive oil slowly until desired consistency. Season to taste. Set aside

Black Bean & Corn Salsa

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small can corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 Cup red onion diced
  • Salt, pepper, cumin
  • 1 – 2 T. Citrus & Cilantro vinaigrette

Saute onion and pepper until softened. Combine beans, corn, onion and pepper mixture. Season to taste, stir in vinaigrette.

Chicken Breast

  • thin sliced chicken breast
  • cajun seasoning

Season chicken and grill until cooked through. Rest for 10 minutes then slice into this strips

Onion Frizzles

  • red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 3 Tablespoons corn starch
  • salt and pepper
  • canola oil

Mix flour and corn starch. Toss onions in flour mixture, shake off excess. Fry in canola oil until brown and crispy. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Cornbread croutons

  • leftover cornbread, cubed
  • 3 – 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder

In a bowl combine olive oil and seasonings. Toss cubes in oil. Spread onto sheet pan and bake at 400F for 20 minutes.


Toss mixed greens and croutons in a few tablespoons of dressing. Once evenly coated, distribute onto serving plates. Arrange toppings in a circle, with an opening in the middle. Add one scoop each of salsa and black bean salsa. Slice avocado (1/2 per serving) and fan out. Fan out chicken. Drizzle chicken and avocado with spoonful of dressing. Put onion frizzles in the center. Sprinkle with pepper jack cheese and cilantro.


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