Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Chicken Taco Salad

I asked my husband to pick dinner often, he is completely daunted by the attempt to choose something we haven't made.  Only recently did he discover, that I was ok with him just picking a protein or even a genre (if you will) of meal.  I would be happy if he said: Salad, Thai, Fish, anything that can help me narrow down the myriad of choices I have lurking in my to try file or pintrest boards!  Well he took the new information and said,  uh... salad, to which I responded by filtering the to try recipe to the salads and asked him to look and see if anything sounded good.  Of course he choose the chicken taco salad.  Taco salad....  the only "salad" that has more calories than a happy meal!  And, chicken :/.... Again:/...  but I asked for it so I am going with his choice.  Then I pull up the recipe.  It is TWO friggin pages long!!!  Ok, breathe, we have 90% of the ingredients, and I opted for the rotisserie chicken instead of cooking the chicken so it ends up being an easy dinner.  The great?  The cumin dressing!  It was wonderful and perfect for a taco salad.  I loved it.  The good, most of the salad.  I liked it way more than I expected to.  Also the cumin dressing seemed to be the perfect amount for the salad, so there wasn't any left over.  The bad?  The sour cream dressing was just ok.  I thinned it with a bit of buttermilk to make it a bit more pourable.  I think sour cream, cilantro, and salsa or hot sauce would have been fine in place of all the chopping and mixing. It was also HUGE! Also there is at least 75% of the sour cream "dressing" left over.  If I were to make this again, I would switch up the sour cream dressing by just adding some sour cream, heat and cilantro, and  half the recipe.

Chicken Taco Salad

For the cumin dressing:
3 Tbl cider vinegar
3 Tbl ketchup
3 Dash Tabasco
2 Tsp ground cumin
2 Tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
2 Tsp granulated sugar
1 medium garlic clove minced
1/2 Tsp kosher salt plus more as needed
1/2 Tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 Tsp freshly ground black pepper plus more as needed
1/3 Cup vegetable oil
For the sour cream dressing:
1 Cup sour cream (8 ounces)
1 medium jalape├▒o seeded and minced
1 Tbl coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
For the salad:
2 chicken breasts from a rotissire chicken
1 Cup white or yellow corn kernels cut from the cob (from about 1 ear)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large heads romaine lettuce washed, dried, and cut crosswise into 1/
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
1 Cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 3 -ounces)
1 medium avocado, large dice
1 medium tomato medium dice
3/4 Cup red onion small dice (from about 1/2 medium onion)
1/3 Cup thinly sliced scallions (from about 1/2 bunch), white and light green parts only
2 Cup coarsely crushed tortilla chips

For the cumin dressing:
Place all of the ingredients except the oil in a medium, nonreactive
bowl and whisk until combined. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking
continuously, until all of it is incorporated. Taste and season with
additional salt and pepper as needed. Cover and refrigerate until ready
to use.

For the sour cream dressing:
Place all of the ingredients in a small, nonreactive bowl and stir until
combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the salad:
Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat until smoking, about 10 minutes.
Scatter the corn kernels in the hot pan and cook, stirring occasionally,
until charred, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and season with
salt and pepper.
Add the cooked chicken, romaine lettuce, black beans, cheese, avocado,
tomato, and red onion to the bowl. Drizzle in all of the cumin dressing
and toss gently to combine. Sprinkle with the scallions and crushed
tortilla chips and serve with the sour cream dressing passed on the side.

Both the cumin and sour cream dressings can be made up to a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator.*

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