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