I rarely buy spice blends, I prefer to mix up my own on an as-needed basis. But some time ago, I picked up a container of something called “southwest seasoning”. This was one of those really large containers, the kind you get at Sam’s or Costco. I think I’ve used it once in the past, and it’s sat in my pantry ever since. The other night, I was looking for something quick and easy to whip up for dinner and as I started reaching for all the individual spices, I happened to see the large jar of seasoning. I didn’t have high hopes for it (for one it was old), but it looked easy and I felt like taking the easy way out.
I put together a sort of chicken salad, and it was great! It gave the chicken an almost blackened flavor and mixed with yogurt the dressing was amazing. It kind of reminded me of Applebee’s blackened chicken salad (but better, if I do say so myself)! The next day, I took the extra chicken breast, shredded it, topped it with some cheese and cilantro and it made a fabulous quesadilla! I know, way to many exclamation points, but I really, really liked this.
Chicken Fiesta Salad
Serves 2 for dinner (with 2 lunch servings also)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn (or fresh, if you are lucky)
1 avocado, diced
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
4 roma tomatoes diced
juice of 2 limes
1 red chili, sliced (seeded if you are wimpy)
kosher salt to taste
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon southwest seasoning blend
3 boneless chicken breasts, sprinkled generously with southwest seasoning
mixed salad greens
Mix salsa ingredients and let sit for flavors to blend. Sprinkle chicken with seasoning. Grill or cook chicken using your favorite method. I seared it in a hot oiled cast iron pan for 2 minutes on each side, then covered it and let in cook for about 8 minutes on medium. Perfect every time. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
Mix dressing ingredients (all 2 of them). Toss salad greens with dressing. Place salad on plates, top with chicken (fan attractively if you are talented in that area, otherwise dump on top like I do), and add a few spoonfuls of salsa on top.