I love Bajio. There is one only two minutes from our house. It is a dangerous, dangerous thing for it to be so close to our house, because it means that we go there altogether too often. I always used to get the Chicken Green Chile Stuffed Quesadilla. I pretty much figured that nothing could be better than that. Sweet and spicy green chiles and savory chicken stuffed inside a fresh cooked flour tortilla with a side of mexican rice and smoky refried beans? Talk about tasty. Then my mom introduced me to the Chicken Green Chile Salad and I've never gone back. It's light enough that it doesn't make you sick after you eat it, and you can eat the whole thing without really feeling bad about it. It's pretty much the perfect combination of flavors and is even a well balanced meal! It's got veggies, fruit, meat, grain, and dairy. In the past year I've probably spent at least $200 at Bajio, so I figured I better figure out how to make my own version of it to save a little money. That being said, here is my answer to Bajio's Chicken Green Chile Salad. Enjoy!
Chicken Green Chile Salad (serves 4)
-------Green Chile Chutney--------
3 large annaheim or poblano peppers (or a combination of the two), halved, seeds removed
1 - 2 jalapeno peppers, halved, seeds removed
4 oz. can diced green chiles
5-7 tomatillos, husks removed
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
scant 1 cup sugar
dash each of chili powder (I like chipotle chili powder), cumin, salt
1 large sweet onion, halved
Place peppers, tomatillos, and onion on baking sheet/rack. Roast in 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes, or until nicely browned. Place tomatillos and about 1/4 cup onion in blender and process until mostly smooth. Dice peppers. Add all ingredients except the remaining onion into a large pot. Cook over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes or until thickened and reduced. Add more sugar/peppers to adjust the spiciness/sweetness to taste. Slice the remaining onion and saute with a little bit of the green chile sauce over medium-low heat until carmelized.
1 1/2 - 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
freshly ground salt and pepper
Cook chicken on grill set at medium-high heat. Brush both sides occasionally with a mixture of the lime juice, oil, salt, and pepper. Grill for about 7 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Cool for about 5 minutes, then shred or dice into bite size pieces.
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup millk
1/2 cup salsa verde (or more to taste)
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 clove garlic
1 lime, juiced
Combine all ingredients in blender until well blended. Refrigerate until ready to use.
8 c shredded romaine or green leaf lettuce
1/2 cup pico de gallo and/or 1/2 cup mango salsa (I recommend the mango salsa, it's delightful!)
1/2 cup shredded colby jack cheese
1/2 cup fresh guacamole (optional)
4 uncooked flour tortillas (you can buy these at Costco, Macey's or Bajio)
1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
1/4 cup cilantro
Fried tortilla strips (Cut 4 small corn tortillas into thin strips with a pizza cutter. Fry in oil for 3-4 minutes or until crispy. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with a little bit of salt.)
To arrange the salad, add chicken, green chile chutney, and onions together in a pan and heat through. Layer 2 cups lettuce, 1/4 of the chicken mixture, 2 Tb. cheese, and 1/4 of the tortilla strips on each of 4 plates. On the side of each salad put 2 Tb. pico de gallo and/or mango salsa, 2 Tb. guacamole, 2 lime slices, 1 Tb. fresh cilantro, and 2 - 4 Tb. dressing. Serve each salad with a freshly cooked tortilla.
I know that this recipe looks a little daunting, but it actually went pretty quick yesterday. I made the entire thing in about an hour, and Corey and I both loved it. I even had a leftover salad today and tomorrow we'll be having quesadillas with the leftover chicken green chile mixture! I'm excited--and think of all the money I'm saving!