August 8, 2012

Southwestern Blackened Chicken Salad


This recipe originated from my attempts at recreating one of our favorite salads from a local Mexican restaurant.  It is delicious, easy to make and ready in 15 minutes -- a perfect summer salad!  There are so many wonderful elements to this salad.  It is cold and crunchy, salty, sweet, spicy, and cheesy all at the same time.  The chicken is juicy and tender with just the right amount of spice.  I used freshly picked corn and tomatoes from the garden.  If you're not a fan of pepper jack cheese, substitute with cheddar and/or Monterey jack.  


Ingredients:
Serves 4
  • 1 lb chicken breast, boneless and skinless, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large egg, beaten 
  • 1/2 c breadcrumb (I use Italian-style)
  • 2 tbsp Cajun seasoning, or to taste, divided  
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 1 head of lettuce, chopped 
  • 2/3 pepper jack cheese, shredded 
  • 1/2 c cooked corn
  • 1 1/2 c coarsely crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 c tomato, sliced 
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped 
  • Fresh guacamole and/or sour cream, for topping
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
Directions:

In a large, shallow bowl, combine the bread crumb and 1 1/2 tbsp of the Cajun seasoning.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper, to taste.  Dip the chicken in the egg.  Shake off the excess egg and then coat in the breadcrumb mixture.  

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the chicken and cook on one side for 2 minutes.  Turn the chicken pieces over and cook for 2 minutes longer. Turn up the heat to medium-high.  Sprinkle the chicken with the remaining 1/2 tbsp of Cajun seasoning.  Cook and occasionally stir the chicken on all sides until it is deep brown, about 5 minutes.  Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon from the skillet and drain on paper towels.  

Arrange the salad.  Toss together the lettuce, cheese, corn, tortilla chips, tomato, cilantro and cooked chicken.

Serve with a scoop of guacamole or sour cream.

Enjoy!




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ORIGINAL PHOTO:  JUNE 20, 2011


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