Thursday, November 3, 2011

Recipe: My Favorite Salad

I love to cook. It's not a skill that I came into my marriage with, but once I started staying home with my oldest sweet boy, I started teaching myself to cook through the magic of the internet. And now, I plan all my meals at the beginning of the week and I cook 4-5 nights a week. 
My husband loves to tell a story about how when we first starting living together (in sin!) that I cooked him the saltiest taco meat ever. He says it was like a salt lick. 

I joke that Pioneer Woman saved my marriage! 
My goal is to be "that mom" who can cook really great meals and everyone wants to eat at their house.
Plus, I feel like it's carrying on the great Southern tradition of ladies who cook huge meals for their families. I am traditionalist at heart. I want to be like my grandmothers. 

So, when Pioneer Woman launched, I found a huge new resource of recipes at my disposal!
One of my favorite contributors is Laurie at Simply Scratch. 
I have downloaded tons of her recipes and they have all been fantastic. 
One of my favorites is her Ancho Chicken Taco Salad. 

So, without further ado, here is a great spin on a traditional taco salad, that I guarantee you will LOVE!

Simply Scratch's Ancho Chicken Taco Salad

{For the marinade}
2 Garlic Cloves
1 tablespoon Ancho Chili Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon of Water
1-11/2 pounds boneless skinless Chicken Breasts. 

{For the salad}
1-2 large heads of lettuce, chopped into bite size pieces {ie: Romaine, Green Leaf Lettuce}
1 small Red Pepper, diced large
1/2 Tomato, diced large
1 Ear of Fresh Corn, cooked and kernels removed
Red Onion, sliced very thin {desired amount}
1 handful of Cilantro, chopped
A couple handfuls of Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, crushed {plus more if desired}
4 oz. Cheddar, freshly grated
Catalina Dressing or your favorite hot sauce. (**We substitute Ranch dressing because we are not fans of Catalina)

Fresh Avocado slices {optional}
Fresh Lime Juice {optional}

For the Marinade and Chicken: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mince garlic and combine it with the ancho chili pepper, salt, pepper. Drizzle in the olive oil and thin out with a tablespoon of water. Coat the chicken on both sides well. Let marinate for 15-20 minutes at room temperature. Cook the chicken on each side {in hot grill pan or regular grill} for 2-3 minutes per side. Remove to a baking sheet and finish cooking in the oven for 10 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked. Let rest for at least 5 minutes {under foil} and then slice into bite size strips.

For the Salad: Combine all prepared ingredients and toss. Serve the salad onto a plate and top with sliced cooked chicken. Drizzle with catalina dressing or your favorite hot sauce.

For printable recipe, visit Laurie's site here. 


  1. This sounds YUM-O! Will definitely have to try it. Funny, but I've always been able to cook, nothing fancy but I did ok. Once hubs and I started living together (in SIN as well, lol) is when I got my stride. Our 1st Christmas together I asked for these awesome Wolfgang Puck cookware set and all of Rachel Ray's cook books. Hubs says its the best gift he ever gave me! LOL.

  2. Ooooooooooo sounds yummy!!!!!


  3. Would be a great party salad to bring on a cookout! Maybe for next summer....


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