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.
- thin sliced chicken breast
- cajun seasoning
Season chicken and grill until cooked through. Rest for 10 minutes then slice into this strips
- 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.
- 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.