Southwestern Grilled Chicken Salad with Tomato and Black Bean Salsa

This quick dinner is heavy on the veggies and light on the meat. The salsa makes this salad filling; you won’t even notice the smaller portion of chicken.

Reprinted from the book Fine Cooking Cook Fresh. Copyright © 2013 by Taunton Press. Published by Taunton Press.

Southwestern Grilled Chicken Salad with Tomato and Black Bean Salsa

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    1 boneless, skinless chicken breast half, trimmed 2 teaspoons honey
    1 teaspoon chili powder Freshly ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon light or dark brown sugar Green Tabasco, optional
    1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 4 ounces small cherry (or grape) tomatoes, quartered or halved
    Kosher salt 1 large scallion, thinly sliced
    6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; more for the grill 2 small heads Bibb lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
    8 teaspoons fresh lime juice 1 medium firm-ripe avocado
    5 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus leaves for garnish 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or pepitas


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    • 1

      Prepare a medium-high gas or charcoal grill fire. Trim and then butterfly the chicken breast by slicing it horizontally almost but not entirely in half so you can open it like a book.

    • 2

      In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, brown sugar, coriander, cumin, and 3/4 tsp. salt. Rub some of the spice mix over both sides of the butterflied chicken breast (you won’t need it all) and let sit while the grill heats.

    • 3

      Clean and oil the grill grate. Grill the breast until the edges of the top side are white, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until just done, another 1 to 2 minutes. Let the chicken rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

    • 4

      In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lime juice, 1 Tbs. of the cilantro, the honey, 1/2 tsp. salt, a few grinds of pepper, and a few shakes of green Tabasco (if using). Whisk or shake well to combine.

    • 5

      Combine the black beans, tomatoes, scallion, the remaining 2 tsp. cilantro, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Add 2 Tbs. of the dressing and toss gently.

    • 6

      Put the lettuce in a bowl, season with a little salt, and toss with just enough of the dressing to lightly coat. (Reserve a little to drizzle on the chicken.) Arrange the lettuce on a platter or 4 dinner plates. Slice the chicken breast very thinly. Pit, peel, and slice the avocado. Arrange the chicken, avocado, and salsa on the lettuce. Drizzle a little of the remaining dressing over the chicken and avocado. Garnish with the pine nuts or pepitas and the cilantro leaves. 

    nutritional information

    9 g
    33 g
    Saturated Fat:
    5 g
    28 g
    18 g
    510 mg
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