Sunday, July 28, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Salad: 3:2:1 Direction

It's been a very big week here.  The time has been ticking for almost 8 months since my daughters received their One Direction concert tickets for Christmas last year.  A dream come true for them (and I think almost every other teenage girl).  The day had finally come and I don't think they slept at all the night before, filled with excitement and energy.  

3 Hours Of Fun Memories - 2 Very Happy Teens - 1 Direction Concert
Off to downtown Denver we went with two of their friends to the Pepsi Center.  As we pulled into the parking area we witnessed a sea of teens - a line that formed all the way to the freeway!  I sent them on their journey to (and I quote) "the most amazing concert ever"!

So there I was, alone in downtown Denver with three hours to spare...what is a mom to do?  Well, go shoe shopping of course!! I found myself in the middle of the infamous 16th Street Mall - a shopping, dining and great people watching mecca, to say the least.  I walked blocks and blocks just browsing looking for the perfect retail therapy.  Then hunger took over and all the amazing aromas from the surrounding cafes started calling my name.

I looked over and found this great patio restaurant with the sun setting down on it to have dinner.  I skimmed the menu and found the perfect pairing - Buffalo Chicken Salad and an extra bonus it was 2 for 1 on glasses of wine that night....sign me up for a little Cabernet, it had been a long 8 months after all.

The salad was very much like my creation which has been tagged by my family as "The Salad Thing".  I have no idea how the name was born, but it is a favorite among my husband and daughter as they are both huge fans of buffalo chicken.

Photo Courtesy of Chili's Restaurant, Denver, CO

The Salad Thing (a.k.a. Buffalo Chicken Salad)

(This is our family's version of the popular salad)

1-1/2 lbs. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Tenders
2 Eggs

1 1/2 Cups Panko Crumbs
1 Cup Flour
Franks Red Hot Sauce (the original)

 1/2 Head Iceburg Lettuce
1/2 Bunch Romaine Lettuce
4-6 Slices Cooked Bacon Chopped
4 oz. Blue Cheese Crumbles
1/2 Avocado Chopped
2 Green Onions Diced
2 Roma Tomatoes Diced
1 Cup Colored Tortilla Strips

Ranch Dressing (prepared)
Taco Seasoning

For the chicken, 3-step breading process; flour, eggs, panko.  Coat all the chicken tenders and lay on a sheet pan. Let tenders chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to help set up. Heat large frying pan with 1/2" canola oil to medium-high heat.  Fry tenders approximately 3-4 minutes on each side (depending on thickness of chicken tender/breast).  Let tenders drain on paper towels.  Baste with hot sauce on both sides and keep warm in 200 degree oven while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Chop both lettuce in bite size chunks toss together, then plate adding bacon, blue cheese crumbles, avocado, green onions, tomatoes and top with sliced chicken tenders and tortilla strips.

Mix ranch dressing with taco seasoning to desired taste and drizzle over salad.

Enjoy with your favorite cheesy, garlic, toasted bread.

Oh, and not to worry, for dessert I did end up finding and buying the perfect pair(s) of shoes.     

I just  love concert nights!!

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