Every Thursday I go on a long walk with my dear friend, Mo. Afterward, we head to a nearby cafe and we have the same lunch every single time–we split a barbecue chicken salad with chipotle ranch dressing and have a cup of tomato citrus soup. We both absolutely love this lunch and eat it year-round. Even though tomorrow is Thursday and I will be having this same salad for lunch, I had a serious craving for it all day long today and had to make it. I grabbed a few ingredients from the store and decided to recreate the salad at home for dinner tonight. It turned out so delicious! I am so excited that I can now make my favorite salad at home anytime I want.
How to Make a Barbecue Chicken Salad
Make the chipotle ranch dressing. Click the link for the recipe.
Heat a dry grill pan over medium heat. Add the shucked corn to the hot grill pan and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown. In my grill pan, it took about 15 minutes. Let the corn cool then cut the kernels off the cob with a knife. Set aside.
Cut the tortillas into very thin strips. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the thin tortilla strips to the hot pan and cook, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the stove and place on paper towels to drain. Season with a touch of salt, to taste. Set aside.
Cut the thin portion of the bottom couple inches of the chicken breast off. Cut each remaining portion of the chicken breast in half lengthwise.
Season each piece with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Heat a grill pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove the grill pan from the heat. Drizzle some barbecue sauce on each piece of chicken then spread it evenly; flip the chicken over and spread a bit more barbecue sauce on that side. Place on a cutting board and let the chicken rest for at least 3-4 minutes before slicing.
I serve this salad buffet-style, so everyone can put their favorite ingredients on top. Place the chopped romaine in a bowl. Add some of the cooled sliced barbecue chicken, grilled corn, tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, black beans, avocado, crispy tortilla strips, and sharp cheddar to the top. Serve with chipotle ranch dressing on the side along with some lime wedges. Enjoy!