Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Table Talk: Buffalo Chicken Salad

This week is my turn to host.This was an easy pick for me - I love entree salads.  And our family loves Wings + Blue Cheese Dressing, so I figured this would be a hit!
 I loved this salad.
I loved the flavor of the chicken - definitely "buffalo" but not too spicy.  I didn't think the dressing was flavorful enough, but I added some blue cheese chunks to the salad and it was perfect!  I am curious to see how the chicken turned out for the other members of the group because all of my breading pretty much fell off when I cut the chicken, but that was not too big of an issue.  We will definitely have this again.  However, I don't know that I will stick to the carrots and celery only - I love to put as many veggies (and even fruits) as I can on my salads! 

Serves: 4
The brand of hot sauce you use can have a dramatic effect on the flavor and spice level of the Buffalo sauce; our favorite brand of hot sauce is Frank's RedHot Original Sauce.  Since Frank's is a very mild sauce, if you use a hotter sauce such as Tabasco, you will want to use about half as much.

1/2 cup hot sauce
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbsp. light molasses
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
4 (6 oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. canola oil

3 romaine lettuce hearts (about 1 pound), torn into bite-sized pieces
3 celery ribs, sliced thin
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
3/4 cup Blue Cheese Dressing (recipe to follow)

1. For the Chicken:  Whisk the hot sauce, butter, and molasses together in a bowl; set aside.  Whisk the cornmeal and cornstarch together in a shallow dish.  Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with the salt and pepper.  Thoroughly coat the chicken with the cornmeal mixture, pressing on the coating to help it adhere.

2. Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until just smoking.  Carefully lay the chicken breasts in the skillet and cook until well browned on the first side, 6-8 minutes.  Flip the chicken, reduce the heat to medium, and continue to cook until the chicken registers 160 to 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 6-8 minutes longer.
3. Transfer the chicken breasts to a carving board and let rest for 5 minutes.  Slice the chicken cross-wise into 1/2-inch -thick pieces.
4. For the Salad:  Toss the lettuce, celery, and carrots with the dressing, then divide it among four plates.  Toss the chicken with the hot sauce mixture, arrange on top of the salads, and serve.

Blue Cheese  Dressing:
Makes about 1 cup
If you prefer a mild blue cheese flavor, use a less pungent blue cheese, such as Stella.

1/4 cup crumbled strongly flavored blue cheese, such as Roquefort or Stilton (about 1 oz)
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup light mayonaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. water
2 tsp. white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. pepper

Mash the blue cheese and buttermilk together with a fork in a bowl until the mixture resembles cottage cheese with small curds.  Stir in the remaining ingredients until well combined.

1 comment:

  1. I realized while I was making this that it's gluten free! Thanks for hosting this week and making me step outside my comfort zone (only a little since I cheated.) :)