“Chique” Summer Salad

Do any of you remember Charlie’s Ale House in Lincoln Park? I am always sad to see one of my old hangouts close down. They shut the doors years back, but the memories of our great late nights drinking on their patio are still intact.

They also happened to serve an amazing BBQ Chicken Tortilla Salad. Lately, I have been craving it. Not sure why, except that most of you know any food with a hint of Mexican flair is top of my list. What’s not to love about chicken, tortilla strips, avocado, bbq sauce and a hint of ranch dressing. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Can’t order in, so I made it myself. Simple delicious flavors perfect for a Chicago summer night when it is too steamy to eat hot food. I roasted the chicken earlier in the day while the boys were reading and crafting as it was just way too hot to be outside yesterday.

I had whipped up this most decadent BBQ sauce for another recipe so I had it in the fridge. Most of the accompanying veggies were on hand, but the missing link was the ranch dressing.

Barbeque Sauce, BBQ,  Homemade BBQ sauce

I have never made homemade ranch, but I knew it had to be pretty easy. I found this one here, which sounded heavenly. Thanks to the Brown Eyed Baker for the recipe as it turned out better than I could have imagined. I did substitute plain Greek yogurt for sour cream and next time I may do a little less Buttermilk to make it thicker, but it was decadent!

Ranch dressing, homemade buttermilk ranch

Last but not least, I made homemade tortilla strips and we were ready to assemble this “Chique” Summer Salad. Sorry friends, it was so yummy I ate it without taking a picture. But trust me it looked as gorgeous as it tasted. Nothing better than tons of crisp greens and colorful veggies to cool off on a hot summer night.

BBQ Chicken Tortilla Salad

One roasted bbq chicken
1 bunch fresh Romaine lettuce
1 bag fresh spinach leaves
10 sprigs of cilantro
1 cup corn
2 scallions
1 small can of black beans
1 Avocado
1 cup of grape tomatoes
1 small tomatilla
1 Jalapeno or Serrano Pepper
5 Lime wedges
Ranch dressing
BBQ sauce

If you don’t buy a whole bbq chicken then you can roast one. Preheat oven to 425. First, stuff the chicken with onion, carrots, celery, lemon and garlic. Then rub with butter and sprinkle with s&p. I happened to use my homemade celery salt, but not necessary. Roast for 90 minutes. Apply BBQ sauce in the last five. Cover with aluminum foil, let cool and slice to top the salad. Wash and cut greens and cilantro. I used frozen corn, but if I had leftover corn on the cob I would have just cut off the kernels. Dice scallions. Rinse black beans. Slice the avocado, tomatoes and tomatilla. Toss it all in a big sald bowl. I diced the jalapeno, but served it on the side. I served each salad individually, then drizzled ranch, more bbq sauce and topped with tortilla chips. Enjoy with a wedge of lime too. Serves 5, but you can adjust quantities to suit your needs!

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