No. 138: Buffalo Chicken Salad

How was your Memorial Day weekend?

We spent ours with family in Indianapolis. It was wonderful to be all together - cousins, aunts, siblings, grandpa ... it doesn't happen nearly enough.

Family picture

One of the other key traditions we uphold is attending the Indianapolis 500. Our family has had tickets in Grandstand A since the 1950s.

View from Grandstand A

Such a great spot to watch the race. The pomp and pageantry never get old. Mr. McC and I will be sure that those tickets get 60 more years of use.

Marvelous Midwest Eats

The Midwest always surprises me. There is such variety and creativity in the food you find there - you just have to know where to look.

We had several delicious meals in Indy worth noting:

  • Major Restaurant - My mom found this spot on Yelp and it was true in its promise of authentic Ethiopian-Eritrea dishes. I swear, even the lentils were unlike anything I'd ever had. I'm going to try my hand at East African soon. Consider yourself warned.

Major Combo

(The Major Combo.)

  • OAKLEYS Bistro - This award winning spot is tucked away on the North side. Dishes like the lobster waffle, sweet corn gnocchi and study of vegetables intrigued us on the menu and made us so happy once they arrived at the table.
  • Shapiro's Delicatessen - This was one of my grandmother's favorite spots. It's as renowned for the people watching as it is for the classic deli eats. You'll see everyone from little ladies in gloves to construction workers there eating the pastrami, reuben, smoked tongue, liver and more.

While there wasn't much cooking, we did plenty of eating. I call that holiday success.

Buffalo Chicken Salad

When we got home on Monday, we were craving something a bit lighter. This salad from Pioneer Woman has all the flavor of red hot wings without the work or the guilt.

Ingredients

Salad
2 whole boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup Louisiana hot sauce
Romaine and mixed greens
Handful of plain croutons
Extra blue cheese crumbles

Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing
2 1/2 ounces blue cheese
3 tablespoons buttermilk*
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

*I subbed milk and it worked just fine

To make

Mix up the dressing first. In a small bowl, mash blue cheese and buttermilk together with a fork until mixture resembles large-curd cottage cheese. Stir in sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and garlic powder until well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper and store in fridge until needed.

Heat grill pan over high heat. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breasts and grill until browned and cooked through. Let chicken rest for 3-5 minutes, then slice on the diagonal. Return the chicken slices to the skillet and pour the hot sauce over them. Turn the chicken to coat it on both sides and let it sit in the sauce while you prepare the other ingredients.

Chicken in sauce

Toss the lettuce in a large bowl with just enough salad dressing to lightly coat it. Heap tossed salad into two individual bowls. Sprinkle blue cheese crumbles and croutons over the top.

Salad with cheese

Arrange chicken slices over the top of each salad and serve.

The results

What a great salad. The homemade dressing was creamy, tangy, and helped cut the heat from the chicken.

Final salad

My favorite part of eating this was when the hot sauce started to melt into the dressing and blue cheese crumbles. It was an ooey gooey messy delight.

Make this into a hearty wrap, chop up some celery for additional crunch, or eat it as is!

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