Sunday, May 20, 2012

So much more than a salad

This is my favorite salad. Seriously. I know that I’ve been using that word a bit too frequently lately, favorite. My “favorites” can change at the blink of an eye, but really guys, this salad is amazing and perfect. It could create world peace... well that might be stretch, but it would give it a good try, I can tell you that!

What is this salad you might be wondering?
BBQ chicken salad

What’s so great about that? Well, let me tell you, it involves some of my favorite (there’s that word again!) ingredients: avocado, BBQ sauce, cheese, and pulled chicken. It’s the perfect summer salad using ingredients that are farm-stand-fresh and other than cooking the chicken, requires no heat, a major plus in the upcoming hazy, hot days ahead. I like to make entirely too much of this and eat it for lunch for the rest of the week.
Let's start with the chicken, shall we?

Cook a package of chicken breasts, or thighs, or split breasts (basically whatever you have) on high in the crock pot with your BBQ of choice and a few dashes of hot sauce for several hours, until done. If you have a stand mixer, place chicken in bowl with paddle attachment, and mix for 20 seconds until chicken is shredded. It's like magic! I have to watch it every time! If you don't have a stand mixer, cry, because you have shred the chicken by hand. Wahhh. It's OK. Once chicken is shredded, pour a little of the crock pot liquid on the chicken. You could also use leftover chicken or a rotisserie chicken.
Next, shuck some corn.

Or be cool like me and find someone to do it for you! This is Danielle happily shucking the corn for me! Isn't she great? I think so!

Place the corn in a large saucepan with an inch or so of water and bring to a boil for about 2 minutes. You want the corn to be very very crunchy.

Cool the corn.

What? You don't cool your corn in the freezer?

While corn is cooling chop up a red bell pepper, onion, and cherry tomatoes. Open and rinse a can of black beans. Throw everything into a bowl.

Once corn is cool, carefully slice off the cob, and put in the bowl with the rest of the ingredients.

 I make such a mess when I do this, corn kernels flying all over the kitchen!!

In a small bowl mix together ranch dressing and BBQ sauce. Start getting really excited for dinner!

Chop up an avocado. Yum.

Take a bag of washed, ready to go romaine, butter lettuce, spinach, or whatever you have and toss it into a bowl. Grate up some very sharp Cheddar cheese, try not to eat it all before dinner. Put all the bowls on the table and enjoy!

 BBQ Chicken Salad
Serves 6 people

1lb chicken breasts
1c BBQ

3-4 Dashes of hot sauce
1 head of Romaine, washed and chopped

1 red bell pepper, diced small
1 medium onion, diced small

½ pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

3 ears of corn, cooked slightly and sliced off the cob
3oz grated sharp cheddar cheese

½ cup Ranch dressing
1/3 cup BBQ sauce

1.      Cook chicken in crock pot with BBQ and hot sauce on high for 2 hours. Shred using stand mixer or by using 2 forks.

2.      Shuck corn and cook slightly in a large saucepan, with the lid on, for 2-3 minutes

3.      Dice pepper, onions, and tomatoes.

4.      Drain and rinse black beans.

5.      Slice corn kernels off the cob and place all the veggies (except the lettuce) in a large bowl and mix.

6.      Grate cheese.

7.      Mix ranch dressing and BBQ sauce.


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