Grilled Chipotle Chicken Salad
August 8, 2018 by Nicole Collins
I'm thinking of changing my name to The Yummy Muffin: Grill Master.
What do you guys think? Do you like the ring of that?
Nah, just kidding. But, I have been waiting a hot minute to tell you guys about something REALLY fun I got to do a couple of weeks ago.
So, I work in the food industry now. And, that means that I get some really awesome food related opportunities. Had I known that many many years ago, I wouldn't have waited so long to move on from my last job.
Anyways, a couple of weeks ago, I got to take a grilling class at work! It was 2 full days of all things grilling and barbecuing...which I'll have you know are two totally different things!
We started first thing on day 1 with a steak tasting at 10am. That's right, I got to sample 12 different kinds of steak ranging from basic choice sirloin all the way up to the cream of the crop wagyu steak, with detours of grass fed beef and dry aged ribeye. It was incredible.
Over the span of two days, we learned grilling tricks, how to smoke meats, anatomy of the animals that we grill and barbecue...all kinds of great stuff. And, both days we had a 12 course meal all prepared 100% on the grill. We even grilled dessert!
I felt like a total grill master after I received my diploma from the class.
Like I said, I've been waiting a hot minute to tell you about this grilling class, because I've been waiting a hot minute to get the chance to use my new skills. It's been raining almost non stop here for the past few weeks; and if it's not raining, it's so blasted humid that it's miserable outside.
Well this weekend, the rain FINALLY took a time out and gave us a few hours of sunshine. So, the first thing I did was break out the grill.
So today, we're making Grilled Chipotle Chicken Salad!
You're probably thinking, “Really, Nicole? Salad is your big grill master debut?”
Well, yes it is; and I stand by it. Because, I get to share not one, but TWO pieces of intel that I learned in my class from McCormick's own legit grill master.
The first MAJOR trick that I'm going to share with you is the 5 minute marinade. You can speed up the marinating process on chicken or seafood by tossing it in a ziploc bag with your marinade, letting the air out of the bag, and massaging the meat for 5 minutes straight. That's it. Just rub a dub dub to really help the marinade penetrate the meat, and it's just as flavorful as if it sat for hours in the fridge.
That's what we're doing with our grilled chipotle chicken. Make a quick marinade of olive oil, lime juice, agave syrup, chipotle chili powder, cumin, and some s&p. Massage the chicken, pop it on the grill for about 6 mins per side, and it's done! So quick and painless.
We're also going to grill some peaches and corn to toss in our salad. Here's tip number two: brush the grill and the produce with grapeseed oil! Grapeseed oil provides some flavor like you'd get from an olive oil, but it has a high smoke point like you get from a canola or veggie oil. Grapeseed oil is the best of both worlds!
To assemble our salad, we add our grilled goodies to some dark spring greens; then finish the salad with some sliced avocado, some shredded pepperjack cheese, and a homemade blueberry vinaigrette. Talk about a flavor explosion!
The blueberry vinaigrette is more like a blueberry sauce. It's thick and sweet, and it gives the salad the perfect blueish purple coating. If you want your dressing to be a little thinner and more dressing like, reduce the blueberries in the recipe by half a cup.
This salad is sweet and a little spicy, and it's certainly a culmination of all of the best parts of summer. Summer produce. Summer grilling. Fresh summer eats. You can't go wrong!
We're back to endless rain in the forecast again; but if it ever stops raining again, get ready for some more insider grill master secrets!
But for now, enjoy; and let's eat!
Grilled Chipotle Chicken Salad
Serves: 4 Print
For the Grilled Chipotle Chicken:
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken tenders
¼ cup olive oil
juice of ½ a lime
1 tbsp agave syrup
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
For the Salad:
6 cups spring salad mix
2 peaches, quartered
1 ear corn, husk removed
1 avocado, sliced or diced
¼ cup pepperjack cheese, shredded
For the Blueberry Vinaigrette:
1 ½ cups blueberries
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp agave syrup
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Prepare the Grilled Chipotle Chicken: Add all ingredients for chicken to a large ziploc bag. Seal the bag squeezing as much air out as possible. Massage the chicken in the marinade ingredients for 5 mins straight. Set aside until ready to grill.
Preheat the grill to medium high heat. Brush the grill grates with grapeseed oil. Also, brush the corn and the peach quarters with a thin layer of grapeseed oil. Add chicken, peaches, and corn to the grill, being careful that the chicken doesn't come in contact with the produce on the grill. Grill the chicken for 6 mins, flip, and grill for another 6 mins until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Grill the peaches 5 mins per side until there are nice grill marks on each side. Grill the corn for 8-10 mins per side until the corn starts to char. When cool enough to handle, cut corn off of the cob.
Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette: Add all ingredients for vinaigrette in a small food processor or blender. Process until fully combined. Set aside.
Assemble the salad: Divide spring salad mix between 4 bowls. Tear greens with your hands. Divide corn, peaches, avocado, pepperjack cheese, and chicken evenly between each bowl. Top with vinaigrette.
*This is a GREAT make ahead meal. Portion out the salad ingredients in tupperware containers. Portion out the dressing in small containers. Grab, go, and enjoy!
*The 5 minute marinade is an awesome trick for getting maximum flavor into your protein without having to wait hours to marinate. Add your marinade to a ziploc bag, massage your meat for 5 mins straight, and voila! It's ready to cook.
*Grapeseed oil is great for grilling because it adds flavor like olive oil but has a high smoke point like canola or vegetable oil. If you don't want to buy grapeseed oil, use canola instead.
*The blueberry vinaigrette thickens up after being refrigerated, but it's still just as delicious. If you want a thinner vinaigrette, reduce the blueberries in the recipe my half a cup.