Monday, February 20, 2012

Sandwich Turned Salad

As I was browsing through my old Cooking Light magazine collection, I came across a recipe for a chicken club sandwich.  The picture was a thing of sandwich beauty.  I seriously considered tapping into my stock pile of gluten-free French bread I've been saving.  I wanted that sandwich.  Then a lightbulb went off somewhere in my head and said, "Why not make it a salad?"  The result, was a crisp, refreshing, and fulfilling bowl of delight that even filled my hungry Bear.
To make my Chicken Club Salad, I just seasoned two chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and a little garlic powder.  Then I sauteed them and topped them with a little bit of wing sauce for a little kick. As the chicken cooled off, I crisped my bacon and cut the rest of the veggies.  You cannot see the dressing very well, but there is a little bit of buttermilk ranch dressing I made using 1 cup fat-free sour cream, 1 cup light mayonaise, and my new Penzey's Buttermilk Ranch Dressing & Dip mix.   If you do not have a Penzey's spice store near you, I've included the link above and you can order their spices online.  Before Penzey's, I thought a spice was a spice.  Not true!  Penzey's spices are quality and will take your cooking to the next level.  Trust me. And, there spices are gluten and MSG free.

Chicken Club Salad

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 slices center cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup 2% cheddar cheese
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
4 cups bagged lettuce of your choice, I used hearts of romaine
1/4 cup Light Ranch dressing

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to the skillet.  Season both sides of the chicken breasts with garlic powder, salt, and pepper, add to the skillet, and saute for 4-5 minutes on both sides until the chicken is cooked through.  Remove the chicken from the pan and let the meat rest.  If you have not already cooked your bacon, add the bacon to the pan and fry until the bacon is crisp.  Remove the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to cool.  When the bacon is cooled, crumble into little pieces, then slice your chicken breast into bite sized pieces.  Divide the lettuce into two bowls.  Topp each salad with the cheese, tomatoes, avocado, dressing, bacon, and chicken.  To make assembling a breeze, you can pre-make and chopp all of your ingredients the day before. 

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