2 tablespoons taco seasoning (store-bought or your own mix)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup ranch dressing (bottled is fine)
1/4 cup salsa (as spicy as you’d like)
3 tablespoons finely minced fresh cilantro
2 ears corn, shucked
1 large head or 2 regular heads green leaf lettuce, shredded thin
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup grated pepper-jack cheese
2 avocados, diced
3 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Tortilla chips of your choice (flavored or not), crushed slightly, for topping salad
For the chicken: Generously sprinkle both sides of the breasts with the taco seasoning. Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken on both sides until deep golden brown on the outside and done in the middle (or to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F), about 4 minutes per side. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
For the dressing: While the chicken is cooking, pour the ranch dressing into a bowl. Add the salsa and cilantro and stir to combine.
For the salad: Next, place the ears of corn in the skillet you used to cook the chicken and roll them around so that the flavorful oil/butter mixture coats the corn. Grill on a grill pan or cook in a separate skillet until the corn is still crisp but has color on the outside. Slice off the kernels with a sharp knife and set aside. Dice the chicken into cubes.
On a platter, layer the shredded lettuce, diced chicken, tomatoes, cheese, corn, avocados, green onions, cilantro and crushed chips. Drizzle the dressing all over the top, saving some to serve on the side if you’d like. Serve the salad in individual bowls.
Overall verdict – good. The only deviations I made from the recipe were using cheddar cheese since I didn’t have any pepper jack on hand at the time. I added a fresh spicy salsa to the ranch dressing, which I think turned out pretty good, and we used yellow corn tortilla chips. When cooking the chicken, I found that since my chicken breasts were fairly think it increased the cook time by quite a bit resulting in losing the taco seasoning flavor because of charring. I do plan to make this recipe again sometime, so next time I would cut any thicker chicken breasts in half vertically or I would cook the chicken breasts in a cast iron pan in the oven. It is a really quick recipe to prepare (except for the extra time to cook the chicken) and had more flavor than the Thai Chicken Salad recipe I have also reviewed.