Monday, May 24, 2010

Mexican Chicken Salad with Taco-Ranch Dressing

As I mentioned yesterday, I've been out of the house a lot here lately. While the Simple Spaghettini with Blistered Tomatoes, Basil, Garlic and Toasted Breadcrumbs at Sequoia (in downtown DC) was light and refreshing and the "Dos Enchiladas" (roasted chicken rolled in corn tortillas with mexican cheeses and
two sauces; tomatillo verde and mole poblano) at Dos Caminos (in the Venetian in Las Vegas) was rich and creamy, I really just needed to cook myself dinner, free of any hot lamps and/or pre-processed additives.

I create my weekly menu Monday mornings and all I could think of today was making something fresh. Thus, I give you: Mexican Chicken Salad with Taco-Ranch Dressing (serves two, courtesy of the Bride and Groom: First and Forever cookbook). Note: You could always cut the chicken and try this vegetarian style.

Ingredients for Taco-Ranch Dressing:

  • 1/3 C mayonnaise (hands down, Miracle Whip is the way I'd go)
  • 1/3 C buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp taco seasoning
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
Ingredients for Chicken:
  • 2 tsp taco seasoning
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (~ 6 oz. each)
  • 1 tbsp canola oil (I use vegetable)
Ingredients for Salad:
  • (1) 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped into 3/4" pieces
  • 1 plum tomato, cut into wedges
  • 1 tsp taco seasoning
  • 4 C chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 C crumbled tortilla chips
  • 1/4 C fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 lime wedges
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

To make the taco-ranch dressing:
Whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a medium bowl. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes.

To prepare the chicken:
Mix the taco seasoning, onion powder and kosher salt in a small bowl. Season the chicken on both sides with the spice mixture and brush with the canola oil. Place the chicken on the prepared baking sheet and bake until opaque in the center, 15 to 20 minutes. 

To make the salad:
Combine the beans, avocado, tomato and taco seasoning in a large bowl and toss gently. Add the lettuce, chips and cilantro. Add 1/2 C of the dressing and toss, adding additional dressing if necessary. 

Divide between two plates. Slice the chicken and fan on top of the salads. Garnish each with a lime wedge.



  1. I loved the dish. Who knows, it might even be easy enough for me to make.. but, I know, it wouldn't be as well made as yours!

  2. I had taco salad once but... it was from a bag. I loved that salad but I think that I would love yours more.