Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Earls Santa Fe Chicken Salad with Peanut Lime Vinaigrette

 Here is another one of my favourite salads from Earls and it is delicious. I serve this salad family style on a large platter but you can serve on individual plates. This salad is fresh, healthy, tasty and satisfying. I served a small bowl of the Black Bean Soup(recipe on this blog) before the salad

Serves 4-6


4 half chicken breasts or two whole cut in half
vegetable oil
¼ Cup Cajun spice mixture (store bought)


3 Tablespoons roasted or fresh peanuts
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
4 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro tightly packed
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ Cup vegetable oil


1 head romaine chopped
14oz or 450 grams mixed greens
1 cup fresh dates, chopped into 1/4" pieces
Tortilla strips packaged (1 cup or more) (located in produce section in Safeway)
7-8 cups each mixed greens and chopped Romaine lettuce
1 Cup thawed frozen corn kernels
vegetable oil
14 oz can (398 ml) or 1 ¾ Cup black beans, well rinsed and well drained
1 avocado
½ cup feta cheese
1 lime cut into wedges
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts(optional)
Approximately 1 cup peanut lime dressing

CAJUN CHICKEN: Rub chicken breasts all over with Cajun spice liberally on both sides. Heat a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil in fry pan over medium-high heat. Place chicken in pan and cook, flipping the chicken every 4 minutes to ensure all sides of chicken are cooked. Insert a meat thermometer into thickest part of the chicken and it will read 160 degrees Celsius when cooked. Set aside.When meat has rested for 15 minutes slice diagonally into 1/4" wide slices. 

PEANUT LIME VINAIGRETTE: Process ingredients in a small food processor. Puree the peanuts, garlic, cumin, 2 tablespoons lime juice, olive oil and sherry vinegar until smooth. Then add cilantro, remaining lime juice and salt and pepper, process until the cilantro has incorporated into the dressing. With machine running add vegetable oil in a slow stream to create a emulsion (so the oil does not separate). Place in a airtight container and refrigerate for 5 days. 

To assemble salad you can either serve on a large platter family style or divide between individual plates. Place lettuces in a large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to lightly coat. Add corn, dates and black beans into lettuces; gently toss. Divide lettuce mixture between 4 dinner plates or on a platter. Top with feta cheese and tortilla strips. Thinly slice avocado and divide between 4 plates or arrange on platter. Add chicken pieces to the plates or platter. Add lime wedges. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Serve with the remaining dressing on the table so if someone wants more they can help themselves.

Print Recipe:Earls Santa Fe Chicken Salad with Peanut Lime Vinaigrette
Puree nuts, 2 tablespoons lime juice, garlic, cumin, olive oil and vinegar.

Process until smooth.

Add cilantro, the remaining lime juice and salt and pepper. Process until cilantro nicely blended.

Sprinkle Cajun spice all over the chicken and fry in vegetable oil until cooked through.

Allow chicken to rest after cooking for about 15-20 minutes. Slice.

Toss the greens, corn and beans with some of the dressing.  Place on platter or individual bowls.

Top with feta, avocado, tortilla strips and limes.

Place chicken on top of salad. Sprinkle nuts on top if desired.

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