And the Mexican meals continue!
Please don’t tell me you are tired of them.
Cause really it’s only Wednesday. I have at least on one more fun Cinco De Mayo recipe up my sleeve. Maybe even two. Not sure yet though, I am obviously having a hard time deciding.
So salads. How do you guys feel about them?
Honestly, I love them! Seriously I do, but I am not about to show you how to combine some lettuce with some boring cucumbers and maybe a tomato or two. No, that is just cruel.
If I am gonna show you guys a salad then it is going to be loaded! Nothing boring and definitely not sad-looking.
Cause really no one needs to see another boring dinner salad. That is just not a fun way to end your day.
If I am going to show you guys a salad it is going to be packed with flavor, texture and a whole lot of crunch. Oh and cheese! All salads need cheese. Cheese is good. It builds healthy bones.
Basically this salad is layer upon layer of flavor and crunch. It is spicy and sweet, crunchy, creamy and cheesy… healthy and delicious!
I crusted the chicken in crushed tortilla chips and then tossed it with a sweet and spicy chipotle lime sauce. Oh myyy Gossh! The chicken alone is so good, but then I put it on top of a bed of butter lettuce, tomatoes, avocado and mango!
Ok, and let me just say mango and chipotle are the best combo. The sweet and spicy really balance each other out.
Wait though, there is more! I told you this was not a boring salad!
After the chicken, the lettuce, the tomatoes, the avocado and the mango comes the avocado chipotle lime dressing. This could get eaten with a spoon. It’s that good. The avocado makes it supper creamy without actually adding any cream. Ah heck ya!
Actually the dressing is the same as the sauce for the chicken. I just made one big batch of the sauce and then divided it in half. Half of the sauce went on the chicken and the other half got blended with the avocado to make the dressing. That is what I call killing two birds with one stone!
Lastly, but most definitely not least, is the crumbled queso fresco. Oh man. Can you believe this was the frist time I have ever used this cheese? It’s crazy good. I covered these salads in queso fresco, but really that was pretty much a given. You all know we love cheese around here.
Tortilla Chip Crusted Chicken Salad with Avocado Chipotle Lime Dressing and Queso Fresco
Yields: 4 servings
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 egg whites
- 2 cups finely crushed tortilla chips crumbs
- 6 cups of butter lettuce, chopped
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced
- 1 large mango, peeled and diced
- 1 avocado, pealed and diced
- 4 ounces queso fresco cheese, crumbled
- blue tortilla chips, crushed, for topping
- fresh cilantro, for garnish
- 3-4 chipotles chilies in adobo (I used 4)
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 limes, juiced
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro (or you can sub parsley)
- 1/2 of an avocado, peeled and pitted
- pinch of salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top, spraying it with nonstick spray (the wire rack is helpful, but not necessary).
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place the egg whites in one bowl and the tortilla chip crumbs in another. Dip each piece of chicken into the egg white mixture, then into the tortilla chip crumbs, pressing the chicken into the crumbs. Place on the wire rack. Give the chicken a spritz with nonstick spray or olive oil, then bake for 20-25 minutes.
While the chicken bakes make the dressing. Place all the ingredients except the avocado in a blender or food processor and process until combined and smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Remove half the dressing and place in a medium size bowl and set aside. Add the avocado to the food processor and process until smooth and creamy. If the dressing is too thick thin it with some water.
When the chicken is done toss it with the reserved dressing (the dressing with NO avocado in it) and place back in the oven for five minutes while you assemble the salads.
To assemble the salads, combine lettuce, grape tomatoes, mango and avocado in bowls or on plates. Top with equal amounts of crushed tortilla chips and cilantro, then add the warm chicken on top. Cover in queso fresco, then drizzle with the dressing. Devour!
It’s salad time! With Margs on the side. Obviously.