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Chipotle Chicken Salad

by Karen on June 24th, 2011

Healthy and Satisfying

We have been eating a lot of chicken.

Right now our household has two different diets (one a detox and the other avoiding all the good stuff) plus Cooking Gluten Free!  Chicken is one of the proteins we can all eat.  Fish is also abundantly available here in the Northwest so we are eating dinners that are either all vegetables or vegetables with chicken or fish.  Occasionally some gluten free pasta or quinoa is served.

This salad gets high marks all the way around from everyone—even teenagers.

Gluten Free Chipotle Chicken Salad

It has everything in it– flavor, nutrition, and visual appeal.  I have adapted the recipe from the Nordstrom Entertaining at Home Cookbook. Some time ago Nordstrom began producing a cookbook or two with recipes from their in-store cafes and employees.  We like our dressing spicier, the corn in my version takes less time since it isn’t actually grilled corn, and we use less cheese in the salad than the original recipe. I think my prep on the chicken is the best and a friends’ teenage son recently concurred.

Pureé the chipotle in adobo sauce in advance and keep it frozen in one tablespoon quantities in a ziplock bag so you can make this any time.  The chipotle comes in handy for chili too so always keep some in the freezer.

This is a great meal to make after a shopping trip to Trader Joe’s as they have everything for this meal.  We just drank water with our meal but I bet a Sauv Blanc would be tasty, try Nobilo from New Zealand.

Wine Pairing:   Sauvignon Blanc


Chipotle Chicken Salad



1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, passed through a garlic press
1-1/2 tablespoons pureéd chipotle chiles in adobo sauce*
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3- 3/4 cup canola oil
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

*this is found in a can in the ethnic section of most grocery stores, but you will need to pureé it yourself


1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2-3 whole garlic cloves
1 cup frozen corn
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 bag of mixed baby greens
1 cup (4 ounces) grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup chopped roasted red pepper
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup toasted salted pumpkin seeds (at TJ’s: Pepitos)
fresh cilantro for garnish and lime wedges for serving

In a food processor combine all dressing ingredients except oil and cilantro. With the motor running, slowly add the oil until incorporated. Add cilantro and combine. Set aside.

Place uncooked chicken into a medium saucepan, add water to completely cover the chicken, add a few garlic cloves and bring to a boil over high heat.  Once the water is at a full boil turn off the heat and let the chicken sit in the water covered for 20 minutes. Remove chicken from water and let cool on a cutting board. I usually cut the pieces in half to help them cool faster.  Chop chicken into a medium dice.

Place corn into a non-stick skillet and cook, stirring often until it begins to carmelize and brown. Be careful as some of the kernals will pop out of the pan. It’s a bit crazy.

Toss all ingredients together with dressing, reserving the pepitos and garnish.

Sprinkle pepitos over salad and garnish with cilantro and serve lime wedges for squeezing over individual servings to taste.


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