Pulled Chicken Mexican-Type Salad with Everything


Imma break a few house rules now.

#1.  This is a salad.  Okay, I don't have any hard and fast rules against salad, but they aren't my favorite.  They just always seem sort of eh.  Unless you add an amazing dressing and toppings, but then you're just eating dressing and toppings.  Greens are for smoothies.  Why not eat something else altogether? 

And it's well known that you don't win friends with salad.


#2.  This is Mexican-style, but not Mexican.  Mexican food brings up some full-force snobbery with me, since I've had the real thing and it's ermagerd.  And then you come back and someone slops some cheddar on some refried beans and stale flour tortillas and is like, that'll be $10!  And it's just no.

This is not Mexican.  It is in the style of an American parody of Mexican.  But this time...it works.

Stay with me.

#3.  This recipe is copied from a restaurant.  I try not to do this because restaurants are usually boring.  But if you live in my old stomping grounds, living it up in the SLC, you just may recognize this as a hot-selling item from your favorite Tex-Mex-Fresh, Cafe Rio.



Not familiar with Salt Lake?  There's a Cafe Rio in the airport.  Catch it next time you fly through.

It's ermagerd.

My advice?

Get the salad.

Pulled Chicken Mexican-Type Salad with Everything
Makes 4 hearty salads

Dressing:
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream (or Mexican crema)
Juice of 1 1/2 limes
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tomatillos
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 jalepeno (use the seeds if you like it spicy)

Chicken:
2 chicken breasts, about 2 lbs chicken
1/3 cup olive oil
3 cups broth
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
2 teaspoons chili flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced

Rice:
3 cups broth
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 can green chiles or equivalent fresh
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 onion
3 cups uncooked white rice

Garnishes:
1 15-oz can black beans
Cotija cheese
Salsa
Mixed greens (use as much as you like)
Guacamole (for easy homemade, combine 1 avocado with juice from 1/8 of a lime and a pinch of salt, mash with fork)
Lime wedges
Toasted tortilla strips (I cheated and crumbled up corn chips, but for easy homemade brush corn tortillas with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and toast in a 450 degree oven for 3-5 minutes or until crisp)

Cook all chicken ingredients together in a crock pot for about 4 hours.  Shred meat and cook an additional hour.

Meanwhile, make dressing by putting all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend well.  Refrigerate.

When chicken is almost done, make rice by placing all rice ingredients in a pot and bringing to a boil.  Turn heat down and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed and rice is soft.

To assemble:  Layer salad in a bed on a plate.  Top with rice (about 1/2 cup) and black beans (about 1/2 cup).  Top with chicken mixture.  Top with dressing, salsa, crumbled cotija cheese, lime juice, guacamole, and toasted tortilla chips.  Insert into face.

5 comments:

Anne Regalado said...

Not a salad but a scrumptious one-dish meal :D The different flavor and texture in that dish must be WONDERFUL ! For sure , it's ermahgerd lol

jeannesioux said...

I learned a new word.
Looks wonderful.

a. maren said...

yes, anne! that's exactly right! smooshy guac and crunchy chips and and warm beans and rice and cold lettuce and dressing...it's an experience :)

a. maren said...

haha jeanne i hope you can try it some time!

plasterer bristol said...

Look delicious this, thanks for sharing this recipe.

Simon