This is a quick fix dinner - I have the dressing hanging out in the fridge ahead of time, and sometimes cook the chicken ahead as well. Easy to throw together on a weeknight, and has enough "stuff" in it to satisfy even the hungriest of FoodCritics.
SOUTHWESTERN CHICKEN SALAD (WITH CHIPOTLE RANCH DRESSING)
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite sized pieces
For the Chipotle Ranch dressing
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream (reduced fat works just fine)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1 T sauce from a can of chipotle chilis in adobo
For the Rub
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander, ground
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
For the salad
- Iceberg or romaine lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
- 1 can of black beans, drained/rinsed
- 1 can of sweet corn, drained/rinsed
- 1 red bell pepper (capsicum), sliced into sticks
- 1 yellow bell pepper (capsicum), sliced into sticks
- Cheddar cheese - to taste
- Make the dressing by adding mayonnaise, sour cream, and buttermilk to a bowl, and whisk until well-combined. If the dressing is too thick, add a bit more buttermilk. If it’s too thin, add a bit more mayo and sour cream. Just eyeball it, it’s a dressing – a little of this, a little of that is the perfect way to make it to your tastes.
- Add salt, pepper, garlic and chipotle sauce and stir well. If you like more heat, you can add more sauce (or you can add one or half of one of the peppers, finely chopped)
- Taste test! When the dressing tastes good – put it in the fridge for an hour or two for all the flavors blend. I make this ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. It will be good for about a week.
- Now for the chicken, sprinkle the rub on the chicken and ... well, rub it in.
- Heat some olive oil in a skillet, and add the chicken. Cook until almost done, then add a little water to the skillet. Makes the chicken juicy and delicious. Set aside.
- Add the salad ingredients to a bowl, and combine.
- Add the dressing (or just let your family do their own).
- Top with chicken, and serve.