The salad dream is still going strong! Tonight, I used leftover vegetables from my last salad and supplemented them with crispy bacon, succulent chicken, and a smoky chipotle crema, which is one of my favorite dressings ever.
I actually bought chicken thighs and seasoned them the same as the chicken breasts. I cooked all the chicken together and the fat from the chicken thighs really helped keep the breasts moist. You definitely don't need to do that, but just watch that you don't overcook the breasts!
Serves: 2 as an entrée (or 4 as a small salad)
Skill Level: Easy
Time to Make: 35 minutes
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (Or a mix of breasts and thighs)
3 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup sour cream
5-6 tablespoons heavy cream
Flaky sea salt
1 can chipotles in adobo sauce
4 thick slices of bacon
2 cups butternut squash
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups mixed greens
6-8 cherry tomatoes
A few sprigs of cilantro
Prepare Ingredients: Preheat oven to 375ºF. In a medium bowl, combine the chili powder, salt, pepper, and cumin. Rub all over the chicken and chill until ready to cook. Slice the raw bacon into bite sized pieces. Cut the butternut squash into small cubes.
Start the Chicken: In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium high. Once shimmering and very hot, add the chicken and cook without moving for 5 minutes or until the chicken is very browned. Flip and transfer to the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165ºF.
Make the Dressing: Add the sour cream to a small bowl. Add the heavy cream, stirring after every few additions, until the crema reaches your desired consistency. It should not be too thin or too thick. Add a few spoonfuls of the adobo sauce from the can of chipotles in adobo until the dressing reaches your desired spiciness level. Reserve the remaining sauce and chipotles for another use. Taste and season with flaky sea salt.
Make the Butternut Squash: In a skillet, add the sliced bacon and turn the heat to medium high. Cook, stirring regularly, until the fat has rendered and the bacon is crispy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined dish. Add the cubed butternut squash to the bacon fat in the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10-15 minutes over medium high, stirring every so often, until the squash is cooked through and fork tender, but not falling apart.
Prepare the Salad: In a medium bowl, toss the greens with a few cilantro leaves. Thinly slice the radish lengthwise and cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Toss with the greens and set aside. Cut the avocado in half lengthwise, twist to separate the two halves, and use your knife to remove the pit. Slice the avocado lengthwise and then carefully remove the skin. Squeeze a bit of lime juice on top and sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
Remove the chicken from the oven and cut into bite sized cubes.
Assemble the Salads: Divide the salad greens, radishes, and tomatoes between bowls. Arrange cubed chicken, butternut squash, and the avocado slices on top. Sprinkle with the crispy bacon and squeeze the remaining lime juice over both salads.
To Serve: Serve the prepared salads with the chipotle crema. Enjoy!
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Designer and photographer living in NYC. I work as a design manager in ed tech and I make tasty recipes in my spare time!