Chopped Salad with Cuban Fried Chicken
This wonderful entrée salad featured on the Ciudad lunch menu is delicious eats, but it’s also "Good for the Planet, Good for You". So what does that mean? At Border Grill Santa Monica and Ciudad, we recently developed an eco-friendly program giving diners the option to order dishes made with at least 80% plant-based ingredients, indicated by a green leaf symbol next to the menu item. Because 18% of greenhouse gases come from livestock production--more than from the entire transportation sector--and Americans eat about twice as much daily protein as recommended by the USDA, we’re encouraging guests to move meat out of the center of the plate. That means building meals around vegetables, grains, beans, and fruit with a small portion of meat or dairy for flavor and garnish. With this “Good for the Planet, Good for You” salad, you can go entirely vegetarian, or enhance with a little Cuban Fried Chicken.
Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette:
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup honey, warm
3 dried chipotles, stemmed
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons kosher salt, to taste
Cuban Fried Chicken:
3 tablespoons cumin seeds
4 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 3 limes
Juice of 2 oranges
Juice of 1 grapefruit
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch by 3-inch strips
Vegetable oil or trans-fat free shortening, for frying
1 cup all-purpose flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bag ready-to-eat mixed greens
1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
1 cup cooked calypso beans or red beans
1 medium zucchini, cut in half, grilled, and cut in 1/4-inch dice
1 cup diced tomatoes
2 ears grilled corn, cut off the cob
1/2 cup cabrales blue cheese, for garnish
1 to 2 California avocados, diced, for garnish
Plantain chips, for garnish
For the Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette: Add all the ingredients to a blender and combine thoroughly. Refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Cuban Fried Chicken: To make the marinade, place the cumin seeds in a dry pan and toast over medium heat, shaking the pan until the aroma of the seeds is released, about 1 minute. To a blender, add the toasted seeds along with the garlic, salt, pepper, and citrus juices. Blend to combine thoroughly. Transfer marinade to a large bowl. Immerse the chicken strips in the marinade and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
When ready to cook the chicken, place the flour in a shallow baking dish. Remove the marinated chicken strips from the bowl and dredge them in the flour. Set aside.
Heat 1/2- to 3/4-inch of vegetable oil or shortening in a large, heavy pan over medium heat until hot, but not smoking. In batches, place chicken in the pan and fry 3 to 4 minutes per side, until golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken from oil and place on a rack over a platter lined with paper towels to drain.
For the Chopped Salad: In a large mixing bowl, combine the mixed greens, beans, zucchini, tomatoes, and corn. Add Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette to taste and toss thoroughly.
To Serve: Divide dressed Chopped Salad evenly between six chilled dinner plates. Top with Cuban Fried Chicken strips, crumbled cabrales blue cheese, avocado, and plantain chips. Serve immediately.
|© 2012 Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger. All rights reserved.|