Sunday, August 14, 2011

Poquito de Todo Chicken Salad...Featuring Cookwell & Company's Escabeche-Style Salsa

Our computer is finally back from the Apple Store after being gone for a few days...and now it's blazing fast thanks to the addition of some additional RAM. Now that I'm back in business, I can share the fantastically simple dinner salad that I made this week with my jar of Cookwell & Company's Escabeche-Style Salsa. Of course, I'm not entering the contest since I'm hosting it, but I wanted to show you just one example of how the salsa can be used as a recipe component.

It was 104 degrees here one afternoon earlier this week, so I wanted to make a refreshing main dish salad for dinner that night. For that to fly with the man of the house at Casa Garcia, it has to be filling and feature some protein. My Poquito de Todo Chicken Salad does both...and it's full of great flavor thanks to a double shot of salsa in both the dressing and the chicken breast. My goal was to keep this recipe simple and ready to serve in 30 minutes or less. By using refrigerated pre-cooked chicken breast and bagged tortilla strips, I was able to do this with no problem. Michael pronounced it light, but filling...and a delicious hot-weather dinner!

Poquito de todo translates to "a little bit of everything," which is the perfect name for this salad. It features two kinds of salad greens, salsa-laced diced chicken breast, veggies, pepitas, crispy tri-color tortilla strips, and a yummy salsa-ranch dressing. This salad is filling and delicious. The flavor of the salsa comes through in each bite, but it's not an overwhelming heat. 

Poquito de Todo Chicken Salad
A Weekend Gourmet Original Recipe featuring Cookwell & Company Escabeche-Style Salsa

Step 1:  Make the salsa ranch dressing by combining 1/2 cup of Cookwell & Company Escabeche-Style Salsa and 1/2 cup of your favorite bottled ranch dressing. Stir well to combine and set aside in the fridge while you assemble the salads.

Step 2:  Dice 12 ounces of chicken breast into bite-size chunks. I used refrigerated pre-cooked breasts from the grocery store, but you can also use a roasted chicken or pan-sear two small chicken breasts in a bit of olive oil.  Toss the chicken with 3/4 cup of the salsa until it's evenly combined.

Step 3:  Add your favorite salad greens to your plates. I used a mixture of butter lettuce and baby field greens, but romaine would also be nice! Mound 3/4 cup of the chicken in the center of the greens I like to make these as individual salads instead of one large salad so the rest of the ingredients can be customized. Here are the ingredients that I used, so feel free to mix and match according to your preference:
  • Diced jicama sprinkled with lime juice
  • Sliced green onions
  • Chopped Roma tomato
  • Shredded carrot
  • Diced avocado
  • Shredded cheddar and jack cheese blend
  • Tri-color corn tortilla strips
  • Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
After you've added your toppings to the salad, drizzle some of the spicy salsa-ranch dressing on top. Then you're ready to serve!

This salad is not only tasty, but it's full of vibrant flavors and lots of different textures: creamy dressing, crispy tortilla strips and pepitas, and lots of crunchy veggies. I hope you'll give this salad a try before summer is over...which is evidently going to be quite a while here in central Texas. The weather forecast is forecasting highs of 100+ for the next 10 days!

Be sure to enter your best recipe featuring salsa in the Spicin' It Up With Cookwell & Company contest that I'm hosting with the nice people at Cookwell & Company. See the post below for all the details and official contest rules. They're offering the person with the winning recipe some really great prizes, so I hope all of you will enter!! Some of the most creative cooks and food bloggers read this blog, so I know y'all can come up with some really wonderful recipes!!!

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