Monday 6 April 2020

Almost Fried Chicken Chopped Salad

The recipe I am sharing with you today proves  that you can make a salad  out of just about anything.  I was very lucky the other day that my good friend Tina picked me up a head of iceberg lettuce and left it on my doorstep.  You never know what you are going to miss until you can't get it. That is precisely when you are going to start craving it, and all last week I had a craving for lettuce and cabbage.  Thankfully Tina was able to get me both!

I am quite lucky in that I have a fair amount of meat and fish in the freezer, mostly chicken of course, but I think I might have some pork chops in there somewhere, and maybe a piece of lamb. In any case I used some of the chicken to create this fabulous Almost Fried Chicken Salad!

You can use chicken tenders if that is all you have to use. I cut chicken breasts into strips, and then rolled them in some buttermilk and then a flavourful dry coating mixture, of flour, dry bread crumbs and a mis of herbs and spices.

These were baked in a hot oven on a oil sprayed baking sheet.  I also sprayed them with a bit of oil. (Low fat canola oil cooking spray)  I baked them until they were golden brown and crisp, turning them and spraying them again, halfway through the bake time.

The salad itself was a mix of what I had in the house  . . .  chopped boiled egg, chopped broccoli and cauliflower  . . .

Chopped cucumber and radish. I cut my radishes in half with zig zag edges to provide visual interest  . . .

I forgot to add tomatoes which I had, but feel free of course. I also added some chopped spring onion.

You can use any combination of vegetables you have that you might enjoy . . . cooked beetroot, cooked sweet potato, carrots, etc.  All work very well.

I had actually made some sweet potato chips (crisps) the other day that I used as croutons on top, you could use normal croutons, or no croutons.  Just what you have and what you fancy.  There really is no right or wrong about this!

I added a grating of cheddar cheese to the top.  You could use crumbled blue cheese or feta.  Again, whatever it is that you fancy or that you have!

The dressing is a homemade kind of a Ranch/Garlic dressing.  I used the rest of my sour cream in it, but you can also use plain yogurt if that is what you have, or even buttermilk if you happen to be so lucky to have it.  Those three things are all tangy, rich and pretty much can be used in place of the other.

This really satisfied my craving for a wholesome and hearty salad!  For Todd I added a baked potato.

He was happy, I was happy  . . .  it was a great meal and we made great use of just what we had that needed using.  No waste here!

Almost Fried Chicken Chopped Salad

Almost Fried Chicken Chopped Salad

Yield: 4
Quit simply delicious.  This fabuously tasty salad is designed to use what you have in the house.


For the chicken:
  • 30g dry bread crumbs (1/4 cup)
  • 35g plain flour (1/4 cup)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 120ml buttermilk (1/2 cup)
  • Cooking spray oil
For the salad:
  • 1/2  medium head of iceberg lettuce
  • 3 cups of chopped vegetables (a variety)
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 60g of strong cheddar cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
For the dressing:
  • 110g mayonnaise (1/2 cup)
  • 60g sour cream (1/2 cup)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp  garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp each dried basil and dried dill
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 60ml milk (1/4 cup)


How to cook Almost Fried Chicken Chopped Salad

  1. First make the dressing so that you can chill it in the refrigerator.  Whisk together all of the ingredients until smooth.  If you have no sour cream, you can use plain yogurt.  Put in a glass jar, cover and chill until needed.
  2. To make the chicken, cut the chicken into 1/2 inch thick strips.  Mix together the flour, bread crumbs, herbs and seasonings in a shallow bowl. Put the buttermilk in another bowl.
  3. Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.
  4. Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil and spray generously with oil spray. 
  5. Coating the chicken strips, one at a time, roll first in the buttermilk and then in the flour mixture to coat.  Lay on the baking sheet.  When all have been coated and are on the baking sheet, spray with more spray oil.
  6. Bake for 8 minutes until golden brown.  Carefully flip over and lightly spray again, and cook for a further 4 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown all over and the juices run clear.  Remove from the oven.  Let cool, then cut into chunks.
  7. Have ready four  pasta bowls.  Cut the lettuce into chunks and divide between each bowl evenly.  Top each with 1 chopped boiled egg, 1/4 of the chopped spring onion, and a portion of the chopped vegetables. (I used cauliflower, broccoli (stems and all), radish, cucumber) Top each with a portion of the chicken and then drizzle with a portion of the dressing. Sprinkle with cheese and serve immediately.  Pass any remaining dressing at the table.

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Has your cooking become rather inventive during the lockdown?  What are some of the things you have been doing?  I really want to know!  They say this might go on for as long as twelves months.  We will all be in need of some culinary inspiration by then I reckon!  I said to Todd I want to go out for a slap bang meal at a good restaurant, no matter the cost!

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