Monday, April 22, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing

I LOVE buffalo chicken, especially on a salad.  I'm a blue cheese dressing devotee, but this avocado ranch dressing was awesome.  It was a really nice treat to have some left over for other salads!

Buffalo Chicken Salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing
adapted from Smells Like Home

2 cups panko
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 large egg whites
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp dried thyme
Cooking spray
2 chicken breasts, sliced into 3/4 inch strips
1/2 cup hot sauce
1 1/2 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 475F.  In a large skillet, toss panko with oil.  Toast over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.  Transfer to a shallow dish.  In a second dish, combine flour, garlic powder, salt and cayenne.  In a third dish, whisk together egg whites, water, Dijon and thyme.  Spray a wire rack with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet.  Dredge each chicken piece in flour, then eggs, then the breadcrumbs.  Lay the coated pieces on the wire rack and do the same with the rest of the chicken.  Spray the tops of the chicken pieces with cooking spray.  Bake until the chicken is cooked through - about 10-12 minutes.  While chicken cooks, melt the butter in the hot sauce in a small sauce pan.  When the chicken is finished baking, gently roll each piece in hot sauce mix to coat.

1/2 an avocado, scooped from skin and roughly diced
1/3 cup light mayonnaise
1/3 cup light sour cream
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tsp dried parsley
1 small clove of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
a few cranks of freshly ground black pepper

While the chicken bakes, place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and combine completely until avocado is completely pureed.

Salad options:
Shredded cheddar
Blue cheese crumbles
Hard-boiled eggs
Crumbled bacon

Make your salad with whatever components you like, then top with buffalo chicken strips and drizzle with dressing.

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