Thursday, June 11, 2009

Southwestern Mesquite Chicken Salad

One of our favorite old 'standbys' for lunch is Chili's. When we can't decide on a place to eat, we usually end up at the one around the corner from our home. I usually alternate between to two or three of my favorite items on the menu; One of which is their Mesquite chicken salad. It's so good,. . . yet so deceiving, because although one may think of a salad as being a healthy choice, this one, deceptively, is .

810 Calories (1050 with the side of ranch dressing)--but it's SO darn good!

Do you have a restaurant fave that you like to mimic at home? Please share here:

What is it? - "Grilled mesquite chicken breast, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, pico de gallo, corn relish, cilantro, crispy tortilla strips and a touch of BBQ sauce. Served with Jalapeno Ranch dressing." -.

Mouth watering yet?

It's good occasionally I make 'my version' of it at home for dinner and have leftovers for a couple of days. Here's how:

Ingredients: (serves 4)

4 chicken breasts
2 tbsp Mesquite seasoning
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1 3/4 cups yellow corn (frozen, canned or cut off the ear is fine)
1 1/2 cups black beans (rinsed and drained)
1/2 red onion
1 cup of fresh cilantro leaves
2 cups Mesquite barbecue sauce of your choice
2 cups Colby-Jack or Jalapeno-Jack cheese (shredded)
1 bag of Blue and White crunchy tortilla strips (or chips)
1 head of romaine lettuce

Optional items: pico de gallo, fresh lime wedge for garnish, jalapeno ranch dressing


Prepare romaine lettuce my chopping edible sized portions into a bowl and set aside.

Season chicken breasts with mesquite seasoning and pepper. Grill for 6 to 8 minutes on each side at 375 degrees.

Once done, slice chicken breasts and set aside.

Prepare corn: (if canned, rinse and drain; If frozen, thaw; If fresh, cut off of ear as shown below:)
Add corn to large skillet.

Add black beans to skillet with corn....

Dice red onion and add to corn/bean mixture.

Add ground cumin and a pinch of salt and pepper to mixture. Cook on medium setting until mixture is desired temperature throughout. Turn heat off, and set aside.

Take tortilla strips (or chips ) and very lightly crush them into small pieces.

Now time to make our salad!
Place a handful of the chopped romaine lettuce on a plate or in a shallow salad bowl.

Add cheese...

Add desired amount of the corn, bean and onion salsa mixture ...

Add crushed tortilla chips (or tortilla strips).

Top off salad with sliced, grilled chicken breast, and generously coat chicken with mesquite barbecue sauce (optional) with a pastry brush or small sauce mop.

Garnish with cilantro leaves and enjoy!!!


Patti T. said...

I think this salad looks fabulous. Chili's is one of my favorite places to eat. I usually get the tequila chicken, mmmmm. I just may have to try this next time, or better yet, make your recipe. Hubby and I just love salads topped with grilled meat in the summer!

Pauline said...

Oh, wow! I don't know if I will visit again as I'm trying to lose weight :o) Lovely blog though.