Thursday, August 4, 2011

Chicken Fried Salad......or Fried Chicken Salad, or Awesome Chicken Salad

After making fried chicken for dinner the other night, I've got a few pieces leftover, and they are perfect for one of my favorite salads.  I sometimes make this salad with leftover turkey or chicken, but it's especially good with leftover over fried chicken, with the crispy coating soaking up the mapley Ranch Style Dressing; trust me, you'll be addicted!

Fried Chicken Salad              
Serves 6

One 10-ounce bags mixed salad greens of your choice
1 European cucumber, diced
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives, or 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 cup fresh or defrosted frozen corn kernels
3 cups coarsely chopped cooked chicken or turkey
1 cup Ranch Hand Special Dressing (see next recipe)
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 strips bacon, cooked until crisp, drained on paper towels, and crumbled
1 cup Spicy Pecans (see next recipe)

  1. Put the salad greens in a large salad bowl. Add the cucumber, celery, chives, corn, and chicken. 
  2. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the ranch dressing, maple syrup, and pepper.
  3. Toss the salad with the dressing, add the bacon and pecans, and toss again to coat everything. Serve immediately   

Ranch Hand Special Dressing
Makes about 2 cups
Once you taste this dressing, you won't be buying that bottle on the shelf in the grocery store; but if you need to buy the bottle, just add the maple syrup and pepper to spice it up a bit.  
2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup buttermilk, or substitute 1 cup whole milk mixed with 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1tablespoon chopped fresh parsley            
1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning

In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and buttermilk, then add the garlic, herbs, salt, and lemon pepper and stir until blended.
Do-Ahead: At this point, you can cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Shake well or whisk before using.

Spicy Nuts
Makes 2 cups
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon Lawry’s garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups pecan or walnut halves or whole almonds
2 tablespoons raw sugar

  1. Melt the butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat.   
  2. Add the sugar, the seasoned salt, garlic salt, and cayenne and stir until the spices give off some aroma, 1 to 2 minutes.  
  3. Add the nuts and toss until well coated, and the nuts begin to give off an aroma, about 4 minutes. 
  4. Remove from the heat and place the nuts in a glass bowl.  Sprinkle the raw sugar over the nuts and toss until coated.  
Do-Ahead: At this point, you can let cool, transfer to zipper-top plastic bags, and freeze indefinitely.

Cook’s Notes:  
  • If you would like to make nuts to toss into salads, chop them before cooking them in the butter and seasonings. 
  • It’s important to use dried spices with the nuts because they become fragrant in the butter and will adhere to the nuts.  Fresh herbs and spices are terrific in other recipes, but not here.
These little nuggets don't last long around here!

Can't remember where I bought these, but love Foxy Organic!!!
Every bite is different; tender chicken, crunchy romaine, celery and cucumbers, salty bacon, sweet and spicy nuts, and maple syrup spiked ranch style dressing.

 Don't toss the nuts into the salad, rather garnish the plated salad with the nuts so they don't lose any crispness. 
I'm teaching the Farmer's Market Bag class tomorrow at Great News! I will have some recipes for the ingredients in the bag in my next post, until then, buona notte from San Diego. 

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