A while back, I came across a southwest seasoning mix at Penzey’s that got me on a streak of some fantastic salads. I mixed the seasoning up with some ranch dressing (bottled at the time, homemade these days), honey, and lime juice, and drizzled it all over a southwest grilled chicken chopped salad. I never really feel the urge to blog about it because a) it went so fast that I never took an photos, and b) it contained a type of seasoning mix that I wasn’t sure was easily accessible to everyone.
But nonetheless, I’ve taken the base of that awesome salad and combined it with a new dressing. Well, it’s not completely new – it’s a copycat of Chipotle’s vinaigrette, which I completely adore and which is way too accessible to me these days with a location just two blocks from my office. Gah. The dressing is a spicy one but it pairs so well with the cool salad, especially the chopped avocado, and you can definitely cut back on the chipotle powder or use a different chile powder altogether (like ancho chile powder which is milder but really flavorful). I love that I can whip up this vinaigrette in just a couple minutes and spend the time the chicken grills chopping up some veggies…and the recipe makes enough for at least 6 servings so I’ve got extra stocked in the fridge for next time. A perfect summer salad for some of the hottest nights to come – I’m totally game!
What's great about this salad (aside from everything in it) is that you can opt to cook the chicken indoors in a saute pan if you can't grill or it's the middle of winter and you're dying for a fun summer meal. Just add a little vegetable oil to a hot pan, season the chicken, and saute each side for 5-7 minutes over medium-high heat or until they are cooked through.
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1¼ teaspoons ground chipotle powder
- Juice of ½ lime
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ¾ tsp Kosher salt
- ½ tsp sweet paprika
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp dried oregano
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, seasoned (we used taco seasoning), grilled, and sliced
- 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- ½ cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 avocado, sliced in half lengthwise, pitted, removed from the skin, and chopped
- ½ small red onion, diced small or thinly sliced
- Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
- (Other suggestions include: shredded cheddar, sour cream, chopped tomatoes)
- Whisk all of the ingredients up through the oregano together in a medium bowl. Slowly pour the olive oil into the mixture while whisking vigorously. Chill the dressing for at least 1 hour before using.
- While the vinaigrette chills, grill the chicken and chop the veggies. Assemble the salads as desired in large bowls or on dinner plates. Drizzle the dressing over each salad and serve.