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Spicy Avocado Chicken Salad

01 Mar

Spicy Chicken Avocado Salad

This week while grocery shopping, I saw a new salad dressing; an avocado dressing with lime and jalapeño. As I reached to grab the bottle and put it in my cart I thought, wait, I can likely make this at home. So instead, I went to the produce section and grabbed a fresh avocado and jalapeño pepper.

I wanted to make a salad that would compliment this flavour combination, so I went to my spice cupboard and pulled out a selection of spices. I thought that a spiced chicken breast served on top of mixed greens and topped with an avocado dressing would be delicious.

I started by making a spice mixture for the chicken breasts. I used a combination of paprika, chili powder and flakes, garlic powder, Italian Seasoning, salt and pepper. If you decide to make this, basically any spices that you like will work. I threw all the spices in a plastic bag and used it like Shake’n Bake™.

I pulled out my grill pan and seared the chicken breasts on both sides and then put the pan in the oven to finish cooking the chicken breasts. I love my grill pan; it makes BBQ’ing inside an apartment possible. So, while the chicken was cooking, I pulled out my food processor and my dressing ingredients.

I thought I had fresh limes at home; however, all I had were lemons, so I grabbed the lime juice out of the fridge. I would have preferred to have a fresh lime so I could add lime zest to the salad dressing, but I will have to make a mental note to do this next time.

Making this dressing was really easy. I pitted the avocado, threw in the jalapeño pepper and added some lime juice and olive oil. Since we like our food a bit on the spicy side, I left in half of the jalapeño seeds. It added a nice bit of heat, not too overpowering. As I was blending together the ingredients, I didn’t feel that it was the right consistency. It was too thick. I added more olive oil and more lime juice, but it didn’t seem to make too much of a difference.

Jamie suggested that I add water to the dressing, to thin it out. I never would have thought to add water, almost all homemade salad dressings are a combination of oil and vinegar, no water at all, but the addition of the avocado made the dressing really think, so water might be the key to making this into a dressing instead of (basically) guacamole.

I slowly added the water, and voilà, we had salad dressing. While I was making the dressing, Jamie was frying up some bacon, because, what is a homemade salad without homemade bacon bits 😉

This salad dressing really complimented the spiced chicken breast. It had just the right amount of kick. The first taste took you by surprise, as the heat from the jalapeño sneaks up on you; however, after a quick sip of water, your palate is ready for you to dig in 🙂

Tasty, easy and healthy – that is what dinner salads are all about!

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Ingredients:

Spiced Chicken

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Spicy Avocado Dressing

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (half of the rib and seeds removed)
  • pinch salt
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3.5 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions:

Spiced Chicken

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix all spices together in plastic bag.  Toss chicken breasts in spices.
  3. Sear spiced chicken breasts in cast iron grill pan.  Turn once.  Place grill pan in preheated oven for 25 minutes.

Spicy Avocado Dressing

  1. Place avocado, jalapeño pepper, salt, olive oil, lime juice and water in your food processor.
  2. Blend well till desired consistency.

Salad

  1. Create your favourite salad (we used mixed greens, cucumber, tomatoes and crispy bacon).
  2. Top with spiced chicken and spicy avocado dressing.
  3. Enjoy (with a glass of water, as this is a bit spicy!)
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