Monday, June 9, 2008

Grilled Cajun Chicken Salad with Spicy Ranch Dressing

This is a wonderful summer dinner entree! My husband loves it. I'll include a link to the original recipe on, but the versions below are our slightly simplified versions.

Absolutely Quickest Version

Grilled chicken strips

Romaine lettuce

pecans (halves or pieces)


Cajun Ranch dressing (storebought equivalent)

More involved, but still faster than original, version

For seasoning

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix all together in small bowl. (Save the salt until the end)

For salad dressing

1 bottle favorite store bought Ranch dressing

Add 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning mixture to salad dressing and blend. (add salt to taste--some store bought dressings are saltier than others).

For salad

1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1 5-ounce package mixed baby greens (or whatever salad greens you have on hand)

1/2 cup pecans, toasted

1/4 cup raisins

1. Rub remaining seasoning mixture (with salt added) onto chicken. Place chicken in medium bowl. Pour 1 cup buttermilk over chicken, turning to coat. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours, turning occasionally.

2. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Remove chicken breasts from buttermilk, shaking off excess. Grill chicken until just cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.

3. Combine mixed greens, pecans, and raisins in large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Season salad with salt and pepper. Divide salad among 4 plates. Cut chicken on sharp diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange atop salads and serve.

Serves 4

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