Tuesday, October 29, 2013

BBQ Chicken Salad and BBQ Sauce

We make a lot of salads at our house.  We have one every night with dinner, but my favorite is our BBQ'd Chicken Salad with homemade BBQ sauce.  I know it's weird but I LOVE BBQ sauce!  I have made several different recipes, but lately I have been making one that comes from a Fine Cooking recipe for barbecued chicken.  

The salad is pretty versatile and you can add whatever vegetables you have.  Ours has different ingredients every time we make it.  And there really are no exact measurements - just put in the amount you want.  Remember less is more!  It's easy to add extras!

It's also great deconstructed for the kids.  L & M gobble this stuff up - especially when there is blue cheese involved.  (Yes, blue cheese and BBQ sauce make for an amazing combination.)

salad ingredients:
head of Romaine lettuce, chopped
1 bone-in breast barbecued chicken (or for the quick, easy version....rub the chicken breast with olive oil, salt, pepper and a bit of BBQ sauce.  Bake it in a 400°F oven until 165°F.  Let it cool and pull apart. Set aside.)
12 cup corn
12 - 1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
black olives, chopped
green beans, briefly cooked or steamed
artichoke hearts, quartered
12 cup cooked quinoa
tomatoes (I like the strawberry sized ones)
blue cheese
salt and pepper to taste

equal parts bbq sauce and olive oil
balsamic vinegar, to taste 
salt and pepper

bbq sauce:
1 cup unsweetened apple juice
12 cup cider vinegar
1 cup ketchup
2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
2 Tbs. pure maple syrup
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
12 tsp. hot sauce, such as Tabasco
12 tsp. kosher salt
14 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

To make the sauce: in a medium saucepan, boil the apple juice and vinegar over medium-high heat until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium low and add the remaining ingredients. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

The bbq sauce can be made ahead and will keep in the refrigerator for about 1 week.

To make the salad: Mix the dressing ingredients in small jar with a tight fitting lid.  Shake vigerously and set aside.  Toss all of the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.  Add the dressing to taste and serve.

The salad may be made several hours in advance.  Simply keep out the tomatoes, avocados and dressing until you are ready to serve.

Serves 4

The barbecue sauce recipe is from Fine Cooking, June/July 2013.

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