Shredded Tex-Mexy chicken, black beans, crispy tortilla strips and a cool, green Ranchlike dressing made with good-for-you Greek yogurt…what, I ask you, is not to like here?
I love this salad.
It satisfies on so many levels. Crunchy. Spicy. Tex-Mexy. Healthy. And it’s super-fast to make with leftover or rotisserie chicken.
Since the rotisserie chicken man is oh, a 5-minute walk away, I usually just go there around 4 in the afternoon, when he’s taking the just-roasted and browned chickens off of the giant skewers, and walk home with the warm chicken in the white sack, the juices gathering at the bottom. I like to shred the chicken right away, while it’s still warm, and I can also test a bite or two to make sure it’s okay.
I highly recommend doing this.
Now, the cool green non-Ranch but Ranchlike dressing. It is simply yogurt, with a few things whisked in, and it’s an adaptation of a recipe that I found in my Ottolenghi cookbook. It’s really not far off from raita, when you think about it, and I made something similar years ago. But this is even simpler, and it’s the perfect match for this salad.
I just might have to make this again tonight. Just writing about it makes me hungry.
Chicken and Black Bean Taco Salad
Makes 2 grande salads
- 6 corn tortillas
- about 4 tablespoons of canola oil (divided)
- about ½ teaspoon of fleur de sel
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 2 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken
- ½ teaspoon of cumin
- ½ teaspoon of chili powder
- 2 cups of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 head of lettuce, torn into smallish pieces
- 1 avocado, chopped
- Lime Cilantro Yogurt Dressing, recipe follows
1. Preheat your oven to 450°F/230°C.
2. Cut the tortilla strips into 1/4-inch wide strips, toss them in a bowl with the canola oil and fleur de sel and toss with your hands. Lay the strips out on a cookie sheet and pop them in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until crispy.
3. Put the other 2 tablespoons of canola oil along with the garlic in a large skillet and turn the heat to medium. Cook just until you can start to smell the garlic, then add the chicken, cumin, chili powder and a pinch of salt. Let this cook and warm through.
4. At the same time, warm up your black beans.
5. To serve, pile the lettuce on two dinner plates and divide the black beans and chicken between the two. Add the avocado chunks and tortilla strips and pass the Lime-Cilantro Yogurt Dressing — no guilt!
Lime Yogurt Cilantro Dressing
You can do all sorts of things with this little green number. Besides a salad dressing, it’s also great drizzled over veggie galettes, steamed broccoli, as a dip for oven fries, you name it.
Makes 11 ounces/300 grams
- 11 ounces/300 grams of Greek or plain yogurt
- a big handful of fresh cilantro
- 1 clove of garlic
- juice of 1 lime (about a teaspoon)
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- a pinch of sea salt
Put all of the ingredients in your food processor and whizz till combined. Taste and adjust for seasonings. Best when it hangs out in the fridge for a half-hour before serving.