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Chipotle Chicken Salad

5 May

This was, in my humble opinion, the best chicken salad I’ve ever eaten.  It had a really tantalizing hint of smoky heat from the chipotles in adobo that balanced perfectly with the fresh citrus flavor of the lemon, creaminess of the plain Greek yogurt and queso fresco, and fresh spring flavors of the greens.  I added the frijoles rosa for an extra punch of protein and a little more variation of flavor – alongside the juicy crunch of the onions and corn and crispy bite of the crumbled corn chips, the beans worked perfectly.  From now on, this is going to be my go-to chicken salad.  It’s a million times healthier than the standard mayonnaise-laden picnic fare and absolutely bursting with flavor.  I’m already looking forward to eating the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Chipotle Chicken Salad

2 cups leftover coffee and orange brined chicken in milk, shredded into bite sized pieces

1/2 cup frijoles rosada (pink beans), soaked overnight

1 cup homemade vegetable stock

1 cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted

1/2 cup red onion, diced

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

2 chipotles in adobo sauce, seeds removed

1 tbs. adobo sauce

3 tbs. olive oil

1 lemon, juiced

1 heaping tbs. plain Greek yogurt

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1/4 cup queso fresco, crumbled

1 cup corn tortilla chips, crumbled

5 cups fresh spring greens, spun dry

In a small saucepan, bring beans and vegetable stock to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook until beans are tender, about 1 hour.

Combine beans, chicken, corn, and red onion.  Set aside.

In a food processor, add chipotles, adobo sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, plain Greek yogurt, cilantro, kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.  Pulse in one second bursts 10-15 times until puréed.  Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

Pour over chicken, bean, and vegetable mixture.  Stir well to combine.

Let sit in refrigerator, covered, 4-5 hours for flavors to meld.

Just before serving, mix together with crumbled tortilla chips and top with queso fresco.

Serve atop mixed spring greens.

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