Southwest Chicken Chopped Salad

Recently when visiting Washington DC we stopped for lunch at the Sculpture Garden Pavilion Cafe at the National Gallery of Art. On the menu was a Southwest Chicken Salad that not only looked good but tasted delish! I wanted to go back there the next day since I couldn’t stop thinking about it…but alas…we ended up at Hill Country BBQ – another great place to eat if you’re a big fan of brisket & ribs. But I couldn’t get that salad off my mind…so of course I had to make it at home. It turned out fabulous! The combination of flavors was just perfect…perfectly grilled southwestern-spiced chicken, fresh avocado, charred corn, black beans, crispy shallots, cotija cheese all piled on fresh salad greens and drizzled with chipotle-ranch dressing and bbq sauce…oh my! I will absolutely be making this salad again and again…

Southwest Chicken Chopped Salad

2 boneless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon each chili powder, cumin, coriander & salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, peeled & sliced thin
3/4 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup black beans, rinsed & drained
2 oz cotija cheese, crumbled
2 Campari tomatoes, quartered
5 cups fresh salad greens
1/2 fresh ripe avocado
fresh cilantro for garnish
Marie’s Creamy Chipotle Ranch Dressing
Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory & Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce

Place the chicken in a shallow dish. Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil on each side. Combine the chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt & pepper. Season the chicken on both sides and set aside. Pour a little olive oil in a medium skillet; add the thin slices of shallot and cook on medium-high heat until crispy – watch it as it can burn quickly; set aside. In a small skillet heat the frozen corn on medium-high heat until nicely charred; set aside. Cook the chicken in a grill pan 5-6 minutes on each side; set aside to rest and redistribute the juices. Start prepping the salad: Divide the salad greens among 2-4 plates. Layer on the crispy shallots, charred corn, black beans, crumbled cotija cheese & quartered tomatoes. Slice the chicken and cut the avocado into small chunks. Top the salad with the chicken and the avocado and garnish with a few cilantro leaves. Drizzle on some Creamy Chipotle Ranch Dressing and some BBQ Sauce. Serve immediately…Wonderful combination of flavors in your mouth!

Enjoy!

Linda~

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