It was a night that called for a big salad: we were just coming down from the high of mini-sous chef’s 4th birthday party extravaganza (read: food smorgasbord), and sticky pink icing was practically oozing from our pores. So I turned to Chatelaine’s Summer’s Best cookbook and found grilled buffalo chicken salad: a low-maintenance but chock-full of taste (and icing-free!) recipe.
Now chef in training does not believe salad constitutes a meal. So I knew it might be a tough sell, but with barbequed chicken, blue cheese, veggies, and a buttermilk-style dressing, I figured this salad might change his mind. The chicken breasts go on an oiled BBQ, naked, meaning no seasonings or marinades of any kind. Once they’ve been grilled, you cut them into strips and put them aside to make the salad, which is a basic mix of romaine hearts, carrot and celery.
Once the salad is assembled, you can plate it (use big plates – trust me, you’re going to want a lot of this salad…) while you make the sauce for the chicken, and the dressing. The grilled chicken strips are tossed in a combo of Louisiana-style hot sauce (I used Frank’s), melted butter, and honey. The salad dressing is a mix of milk, light mayonnaise, chopped garlic, apple-cider vinegar, and fresh dill. Once the dressing is ready, you drizzle it on the plated salad, then top it all with the sweet, spicy and saucy chicken strips. A few crumbles of blue cheese and your salad is ready to go.
We had the salad without any accompaniments, but a loaf of crusty bread would have been a nice addition. The combination of the spicy sweet chicken with the cool dill buttermilk dressing, plus the crunch of the lettuce and veggies, made for a very (very) tasty salad – one I could literally eat for dinner every single night. Now chef in training thought the salad was delicious, but was happy for the strawberry crisp I’d put in the oven to round out the meal. This was an adults-only dinner, and if I were serving it to kids I would likely omit the hot sauce on their chicken.
So if you’re looking for a summer-fresh salad that eats like a meal, this is the recipe for you.
Try this recipe: Grilled buffalo chicken salad