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America’s Most Wanted Recipes at the Grill: California Pizza Kitchen BBQ Chicken Salad

BBQChickenSalad_400This California Pizza Kitchen favorite is an updated version of the ’80s classic tostada salad. From America’s Most Wanted Recipes at the Grill.

Crisp tortilla strips garnish a salad of crunchy jicama, beans, corn, and cheese under a mound of garlicky barbecued chicken. The garden herb ranch dressing is good enough to double or triple and keep in the fridge to use with almost anything.

Tortilla Strips
2 cups vegetable oil
12 corn tortillas, sliced into thin strips

Garden Herb Ranch Dressing
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 teaspoon minced dill
1 tablespoon minced basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Salad
2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
2 cups shredded Romaine lettuce
¼ cup julienned fresh basil
1 cup jicama, cut into thin strips
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Chicken Marinade
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 (5-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts
¼ cup sweet and smoky
barbecue sauce
4 large Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 green onion, thinly sliced, for garnish

1. Do ahead: To make the Tortilla Strips, heat the vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan or skillet. When the oil reaches 350°F, fry the sliced tortillas in batches. Remove them with a skimmer or slotted spoon when crispy and drain on paper towels. Set aside until ready to use.

2. Do ahead: To make the Garden Herb Ranch Dressing, combine the buttermilk, mayonnaise, and sour cream in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth and creamy. Stir in the remaining ingredients, mixing until the dressing is well blended and smooth. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.

3. Do ahead: Mix together the Salad ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until
ready to use.

4. For the Chicken Marinade, whisk together the olive oil, garlic, soy sauce, and salt. Pour over the chicken breasts in a resealable plastic bag and marinate at least 30 minutes.

5. Light a charcoal barbecue or heat a gas grill to medium. Clean the grate and coat it with vegetable oil.

6. Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off the excess. Grill the chicken 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until cooked through and no longer pink in the center.

7. Let the chicken cool, then refrigerate. When completely chilled, cut the breasts into bite-sized pieces and toss with the barbecue sauce. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

8. To assemble the salad, toss half the fried tortilla strips with the salad ingredients. Toss with the Garden Herb Ranch Dressing.

9. Divide the salad onto 4 chilled plates and surround each portion with the chopped tomatoes and the remaining tortilla strips.

10. Top each salad with a portion of the grilled chicken and drizzle with a little more barbecue sauce.

11. Garnish with the chopped green onion and serve.

Serves 4

This recipe can easily be served as an appetizer by making smaller portions, serving up to 8 people. It also makes an excellent buffet salad. Just arrange it on an attractive serving platter and keep refrigerated until the last moment.

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