ADVENTURES IN DOMESTICITY: Grilled Chicken Salad Edition

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Most of my Adventures in Domesticity this year have been focused on Rick Bayless’s recipes from Mexican Everyday, which has surprisingly become my go-to cookbook for weeknight dinners. This is particularly surprising, given that as a child the only thing I would eat at Mexican restaurants was cheese-and-bean dip (hold the beans). Two thumbs up for personal growth.

Nevertheless, I keep returning to Mexican Everyday because not only are the recipes easy, but relatively healthy too. And did I mention tasty? (Actually, I didn’t — as evidenced by my choice in adjectives in the previous sentence) Anyway, I’ve delved into several of the book’s recipes by now, even ones that appear to be mundane, like Bayless’s grilled chicken salad. His version involves guacamole, which already puts it way ahead of most other salads out there in the world.

Pics after the jump…

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Well, here we are. Jalapeños and garlic. Always a good sign of things to come.

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The juicer is out. This is a big deal.

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Turns out I needed half a cup of lime juice. Hence the juicer. I know, I know: I’m blowing your minds.

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In other news, there’s a pan with oil on the stove.

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Well, we all can see how this is turning out for the chiles and garlic.

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A few minutes later, the garlic is browned and the jalapeño is tender. Doing a bang up job so far, if I do say so myself.

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Time to summon the Magic Bullet. Into the container goes the lime juice, cilantro, salt, pepper, the chiles, the garlic, AND the oil from the pan. Waste not, want not.

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Well, look at that. All puréed and stuff.

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Ewwww raw chicken.

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The chicken goes into a bowl along with a third of the dressing I just made. Time for some solid marinAYSH.

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While the chicken hangs in its marinade, I get to slicing up an onion all thick-like. I’m excited to see where this is going.

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As it turns out, it’s going to the stovetop. The recipe actually calls for the onion and the chicken to be grilled simultaneously, but sometimes a man has to say “No, I will NOT grill today.” And that’s more or less why I kept things simple with the cast iron skillet. This also meant I had to do the onions first.

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The onions, post faux-grilling.

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So what are those stupid onions needed for anyway? Guacamole! I chop the onions up and mash them into some avocados.

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Weeee! And here’s the cool part of the recipe: I just have to pour in more of that dressing, and voila, we have guacamole!

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Here comes the romaine. This IS a salad, after all.

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I toss the lettuce with the remaining dressing and then top with the chicken (that I’ve cooked, thankfully). There’s also some Parmesan present too, standing in for queso añejo.

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As for the guacamole, it’s in there too. Under the chicken. Surprise!

THE VERDICT:

Delicious! This salad is definitely more than the sum of its parts. On the surface, it’s just grilled chicken with guacamole on lettuce, but as you can see in the photos, there’s a lot of care that goes into making that guacamole and chicken. The flavor was great, and the yield quite high. A solid, healthy, filling, and tasty meal.

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