I'm a sucker for fried food.
There, I said it. Give me a good crunchy onion ring or a nice hot sweet potato fry, and DEFINITELY a piece of fried chicken... I am a happy girl. And I enjoy all of those things to their fullness when I order them out. But I'm not one for frying food at home- health factor aside, I don't trust myself to not burn my apartment building down while trying to fry food while running after two kids #reallife. And yes- I've looked into an air fryer (I'm almost sold) but thankfully, the oven also works as a delicious option to make some crunchy tastes-like-it's-fried chicken to top my new favorite salad.
EVERYTHING about this salad- from the crisp lettuce to the crunchy chicken and the smoky-sweet dressing is to die for (if I do say so myself) and I am a salad FAN- but it has to be a good salad. This one is worthy of the full meal designation- and I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do.
Smoky Southwestern Crunchy Chicken:
1 lb chicken tenders
1 batch breading (below)
1/2 cup almond flour (breadcrumbs work, too)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Whisk breading ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk egg.
3. Pat chicken dry. Dredge each piece in egg first, followed by breading. Repeat until all chicken is coated.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment or place a wire rack on top, sprayed with cooking spray (this is my preferred method)>
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked through.
Sweet + Smoky Dressing
My new favorite dressing. Zero judgment if you want to drink this. I might have thought about it.
1/4 cup mayonnaise (we like avocado oil)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1/4 cup olive oil (more if needed)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
pinch sea salt
1. Whisk or blend (if you whisk, it will separate as shown in the photos. no biggie- shake or whisk before drizzling!). Taste for seasoning and drizzle away!
Southwest Chicken Salad: Makes about 4-5 bowls
1 batch crunchy southwest chicken
1 box power greens (or greens of choice) 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese 1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted
1 avocado, sliced thin
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped Optional: top with tortilla strips (slice corn tortillas, spray with cooking spray and bake in oven for
1. Arrange salads: Toss greens with grape tomatoes, corn, cheese and dressing. Top with sliced avocado, cilantro and chicken.