Feisty Fiesta Chicken Salad

I didn’t know what to make the other day for dinner, but I knew I had romaine lettuce and chicken breasts to cook up, so I decided to go for a salad. I had some tortilla strips for salad toppings in my panty, so I decided to make a Mexican-inspired chicken salad. This is the delicious creation we ended up with. Enjoy!

Feisty Fiesta Chicken Salad

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
Serves: 2 as meal

2 chicken breasts, pounded thin or butterflied
Romaine lettuce (chopped)
Grape tomatoes (halved)
Cucumber (diced)
Avocado (diced; if you only use 1/2, save the half with the pit in a Ziploc bag in the fridge for later)
Tortilla strips (salad topping)
Fresh cilantro (chopped)
Chives (chopped)

Marinade
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoons of light soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 tablespoon of Worchester sauce

Blackening Seasoning
1/4 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground oregano

Salad Dressing
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Pinch chili powder
1 garlic clove (minced)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp sugar or honey (optional)

 

Combine marinade ingredients, and marinate chicken (30 minutes to overnight).

Combine blackening seasoning ingredients. Remove chicken from marinade, rub with seasoning, and cook on medium heat in frying pan. Chicken should “blacken” as you cook.

Combine salad dressing ingredients in a small lidded container and shake to combine.

Toss lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado and salad dressing. Top with slices of cooked chicken, tortilla strips, cilantro, and chives.

feisty fiesta chicken salad

 

Original dressing recipe here.

Blackened Chicken with Creole Butter

This is my concoction based on a fabulous dinner I had at a local restaurant, The Cactus Club (a place I highly recommend). I put this together based on a few different recipes, added in some mashed potatoes with garlic and chives, and called it one of the best dinners I have ever made. Enjoy!

Blackened Chicken

Prep time: 30-40 minutes
Cook time: 20-30 minutes
Serves 2

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thighs would also be great)

Marinade
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoons of light soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 tablespoon of Worchester sauce

Blackening Seasoning
1/4 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground oregano

Prep chicken. Place in ziplock, and pound to 1/2-3/4 inch thickness. (I didn’t do this but it makes cooking the chicken evenly much easier.)

Combine marinade ingredients in large ziplock. Marinate chicken for minimum 30 minutes.

Meanwhile combine blackening seasoning ingredients, with mortar and pestle if you have one.

Remove chicken from marinade and discard. Rub blackening seasoning into chicken, coat well and thickly (you will use all of the seasoning you prepped). Heat butter or oil in a good non-stick or cast iron pan over medium-high heat. When butter/oil is hot, add chicken. Flip every once in a while to ensure even cooking and blackening. The spice rub will blacken and burn, this is supposed to happen to a certain extent. Cook time approx. 15-20 minutes. Serve over mashed potatoes (I add fresh garlic, fresh chives, and butter to mine) and with creole butter (below). A side of asaparagus adds a nice touch as well, or other steamed vegetables.

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Creole butter
Prep time 1 hour (30 minutes if using margarine)
Yields 1/2 cup ; serves 2 generously

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper

Allow butter to sit on counter at room temperature for approx. 45-60 minutes until soft. (Margarine only needs to sit out for about 20 minutes.)

Combine spices in mortar and pestle, and stir into butter/margarine. Put into freezer to harden while chicken cooks. Add 1-2 dollops to hot chicken immediately before serving. (Also great on the potatoes.)

 

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Original sources:
Blackened Chicken Breasts
Creole Butter