Thursday, October 30, 2014

BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad

"BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad"  is one of the Cheesecake Factory restaurant recipes you're going to want to hold on to! 


BBQ Ranch Dressing

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons BBQ of choice
1 tablespoon Hidden Valley Ranch powder
1 small garlic clove, grated
cracked black pepper, to taste

Crispy Onion Straws
1 large red onion (about the size of a grapefruit)
1 1/2-2 cups buttermilk
1 2/3 cup flour
1 tablespoon salt
dash of cayenne
fresh cracked pepper Canola Oil (enough to fill bottom of pan about 1/2-3/4 inch)

4 chicken breasts
1 cup BBQ sauce of choice, divided
salt and pepper, to taste
3-4 heads of Romaine lettuce, chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
2 ears corn, shucked rinsed and kernels cut from the cob
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 avocado, diced
Fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)


For the Dressing
Mix all ingredients together and set aside until ready to serve.

For the Crispy Onion Straws
Cut both ends off of the red onion and peel off the papery skin. 

Slice into thin rounds (as thin as you can get them). 

Separate all the little rings and lay them into a shallow baking dish and cover with buttermilk (1 1/2 -2 cups). 

Allow to sit for 30-45 minutes. 

Mix together flour, salt, cayenne, and black pepper in a large bowl.

Heat oil in a deep skillet to 350°-375° (I love my cast iron). 

Using tongs, remove a small amount of the onions from the dish and allow excess buttermilk to drip off. 

Toss the onions in the flour mixture, shake off excess and then place into the hot oil. 

Shallow fry until crispy and golden (be sure to flip partway through); about 2-3 minutes per side.

Remove from oil and place onto a place that has paper towels on it to allow it to drain. 

Repeat until all onions have been cooked. Set aside until ready to use.

For the Salad
Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. 

Spray grill with non-stick spray and preheat to medium high heat. 

Cook the chicken for about 4-6 minutes per side (until cooked completely through). 

During last few minutes of cooking, baste the chicken breasts with 3/4 cups of the BBQ sauce (make sure to get both sides). 

Remove from grill and set aside to rest for 3 minutes. 

Cut into bite sized cubes.

Disperse lettuce evenly among four large salad plates or bowls. 

Next, add equal amounts of the tomato, corn, black beans, and avocado. 

Top each salad with a cubed up chicken breast followed by a handful of the onion straws. 

Top with a drizzle of the BBQ Ranch Dressing and a drizzle of the remaining BBQ sauce. 

If desired add a sprinkle of cilantro on top. Serve. 

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