So, someone I know brought over some chicken they had previously grilled for me to make dinner with. Everyone knows I love to use leftovers creatively. Immediately I thought of chicken salad. I do get tired of the same old recipes so I looked to my pantry for inspiration. Lo, and behold, an avocado and some black beans. Mexican style it was!
This is so easy and turned out great! It has a bit of kick from the cumin and black pepper and zing from lemon juice. Makes a lovely, chilled salad for a hot night with some melon or grapes as a side dish. We loved it in lettuce wraps, on tortilla chips and for sandwiches. The kids were not fond of it but all the adults made me swear I’d put the recipe on my blog to share with you anyway. Try it with your family and take them on a trip south of the border. Let me know how it turns out!
NUTS and BOLTS
- 3 Large Chicken Breasts, Diced Small (about 4 cups)
- 1 cup Diced Celery (3 or 4 stalks)
- 1/2 Vidalia Onion, Diced Fine
- 1 cup Diced Roasted Red Bell Pepper
- 1 can Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed
- 16 oz Fat Free Sour Cream
- 4 oz Sundried Tomatoes, Sliced
- 3 Garlic Scapes, Diced
- 1 Small Ripe Avocado, Diced
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 1.5 tsp Salt
- Juice Of 1/2 Lemon
WHAT TO DO WITH IT ALL
First you need to chop up your main ingredients. Dice the chicken, onion, celery and roasted red peppers. Drain and rinse your black beans and mix all of these ingredients together in a large bowl.
In a blender or food processor, combine all the dressing ingredients. It will be easiest to cut the sun-dried tomatoes with kitchen shears. I always get the dry sun-dried tomatoes in the deli section. If all you can find are jarred, they will work just fine. Roughly chop your herbs and garlic scapes.
“What is a garlic scape?”, you may wonder… I certainly did when we began receiving them from our CSA. A garlic scape is the the flowering stalk of hardneck varieties of garlic – the taste is like garlic, but more mellow. I love this entry from “Not Without Salt” extolling the virtues of garlic scapes (and has some awesome recipes). Go search them out at your local farmers market; once you try them, I think you will love them too. If you cannot get them easily or it is out of season, try adding two or three garlic cloves instead.
Juice 1/2 of a lemon and add this to your blender or food processor with everything else. Finally, add all of your spices. Pulse and stir in turns until everything comes together and the sun-dried tomatoes are blended nearly smooth.
Spoon the finished dressing over your chicken mixture (it will be thick) and mix well. You can serve immediately or keep chilled in the refrigerator as long as you like.
The twinkies were not big fans, but it is a bit spicy – no surprise. 2 of 5
The eldest ate it with chips. No complaints. 4 of 5
All the grown-ups thought it was delicious. Everyone ate a couple of servings. 4.5 of 5