Here is a substantial salad idea from Cooking Light magazine that is a dinner entrée unto itself. It is essentially a deconstructed bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich and the recipe is more of a suggested method rather than set in stone instructions. The addition of chicken and avocado make it more satisfying with or without a side of bread. (I served the salads with slices of hot garlic bread). Not only is this salad easy to make it is easy to customize dinner to meet everyone’s culinary preferences. The chicken can be served hot or cold; you could use leftover rotisserie chicken. You can also add additional toppings to make it your own; Kalamata olives or even cucumber chips would also be nice. The herbed buttermilk dressing is a nice touch but you can use other herbs depending on your likes and what you have on hand. It is really that easy.
If you want to be particularly decadent, when cooking the chicken omit the olive oil and use 3 tablespoons of bacon drippings to pan sear the chicken breasts before placing them in the oven. Cooking Light most definitely wouldn’t approve but this cook certainly does.
CHICKEN AVOCADO BLT SALAD
1 cup buttermilk, divided
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
3/4 cup panko crumbs
4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 head iceberg lettuce, cored and cut into 6 wedges
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into slices
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
3 ounces crumbled blue cheese
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Combine 1/2 cup of the buttermilk and the egg white in a shallow dish. Place the panko crumbs in a separate shallow dish.
- Dip the chicken into the egg white mixture then dredge in panko.
- Sprinkle the chicken breasts with half of the salt and half of the pepper.
- Heat a ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat.
- Place the chicken in the skillet and cook for 4 minutes per side.
- Move the skillet to the oven and bake for 14 minutes or until done.
- Let the chicken stand for 10 minute then slice crosswise.
- Combine the remaining buttermilk, the remaining pepper, mayonnaise, dill and vinegar in a small bowl.
- Place the garlic on a cutting board and sprinkle with the remaining salt. Chop the garlic until a paste forms, scraping with the flat side of a knife to mash it into a paste. Add to the dressing and stir well to combine.
- Place the lettuce wedges on 6 plates. Evenly divide the chicken, avocado, and tomatoes over the top of each piece of lettuce. Drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle with the blue cheese and crumbled bacon.