Thursday, June 3, 2010

Southwestern Chicken Salad

This salad comes together in a snap and is reasonably healthy for you. After weekend dining on tasting menus at Graham Elliott and fettucine alfredo at Carmine's, it was certainly time for something on the lighter side. The chicken would also be great on the grill, but it worked fine in the oven. You could easily add black beans to make the salad even heartier and filling.  I will be making this again, especially in the summer time.  Reminds me of a salad version of tortilla soup.
Southwestern Chicken Salad
serves 4

¼ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/3 cup frozen corn kernels

2 tortillas
1 cup canola oil

1 tomato, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
2 tablespoons shredded Colby jack cheese
1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 425. In a small dish combine oregano, cayenne, cumin and olive oil. In a shallow baking dish, coat the chicken breasts with the oil and spice mixture. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

In a small baking pan, toss the corn kernels with one teaspoon of olive oil and salt & pepper to taste. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes (add after the chicken has been baking for 20 minutes).

In a small sauce pan, heat the canola oil over medium high heat. Cut the tortillas into half, then cut into ½” strips. Fry for one to two minutes until strips turn golden brown, drain on a paper towel.

Toss the lettuce, tomato, avocado, cheese and corn kernels with the vinaigrette. Cube the chicken and put on top of the salad with the tortilla strips.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 of a red onion
3 tablespoons olive oil

Combine all ingredients except oil in a mini chop and pulse. Stream in the oil through the top to emulsify.
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