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Buffalo Chicken Salad with Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

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I first made this salad back when I was Somersizing and most of my meals consisted of proteins and fats, but it’s actually very any-diet friendly as well.  I used a lot more butter the first time, because I could, but I prefer it this way with less butter and more hot sauce because I like things on the spicy side. If you don’t, you might want to add less hot sauce at first and slowly build up to your own threshold. I’m not usually a fan of blue cheese dressing, but the cool, tangy flavor really compliments the spicy chicken by contrast.

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Printable recipe
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Blue Cheese Dressing
¾ cup sour cream
1 1/3 cups mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
Milk or heavy whipping cream to thin, as desired

Salad
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ½ lbs chicken breasts, cubed
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
½ cup hot sauce
5 oz bag of salad greens
3 celery stalks, sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes

To make the dressing, place everything but the cheese in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth and add milk or cream if you want it thinner.  (My photo is not a good indication of this dressing’s appearance, as I went a little heavy on the cream so that it was nearly half dressing, half cream!  It is quite thick before you add milk or cream.)  Add cheese and process until cheese chunks are as small as you like. Store covered in refrigerator 24 hours before serving.

For the salads, heat a skillet over medium-high and add olive oil. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook until center is no longer pink, about 10 minutes; drain off the juice. Add the butter and stir until melted, then stir in the Worcestershire and hot sauce until the chicken is evenly coated.

Divide the salad greens among 4 plates, then add the celery & tomatoes to each. Top with buffalo chicken pieces and serve with blue cheese dressing.

Serves 4

Per Salad (with 2 tablespoons dressing): 450 calories; 25 g fat; 11 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 43 g protein; 10 Points Plus

Recipe source: dressing recipe from allrecipes.com, salad recipe by Veronica Miller

Chicken in Basil Cream

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My friend, Suzie, shared this recipe on Facebook a while back, and while all the recipes I’ve tried from her rock, this was one I never intended to make.  I make it a rule to shun or lighten all recipes that call for more than a tablespoon or two of heavy cream (except in desserts, of course!), but I recently went through a low-carb phase and ended up making a lot of yummy rich dishes during the two weeks I masqueraded as a carnivorous beast.  I’m usually not a big fan of meat in general, but my husband (the true carnivore between us) and I both loved this dish.

I have to say, the coating (a Suzanne Somers recipe) I used in place of flour on the chicken was tremendous.  I made extra so I could use it again because I’m imagining it encrusting pieces of white fish and think it would be great on any cut of meat.  It has tons of flavor.  Of course the basil cream was incredible, and a very good compliment to the flavor of the “breaded” meat.  One portion of this dish is satisfying enough that you shouldn’t need anything else besides some roasted asparagus or a salad…but if you don’t have to worry about your caloric intake, I hate you I think this would be great over linguine!

Although the low-carb phase was temporary, it reminded me that fat is not the enemy and can be included in my dietary plan, even in large amounts if I reduce calories in other ways, such as serving vegetables alongside this chicken instead of pasta and bread.  It is definitely worth scrimping on the carbs in order to enjoy a meal like this every so often!

Chicken in Basil Cream

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

Bake & Fry Mix
1 cup minced onion
1 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bay leaves, crushed
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Chicken and sauce
8 (4 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 (4 oz) jar sliced pimentos, drained
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Place minced onion in food processor fitted with blade attachment. Process one minute. Add remaining mix ingredients, except the cheese, and process another minute. Add cheese and pulse until combined. Place in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Add chicken to the bag and shake until every piece is coated. On medium-high heat, cook chicken in butter on both sides until juices run clear, about 10 minutes. Remove and keep warm. Add broth to the skillet. Bring to a boil over medium heat; stir to loosen browned bits. Stir in the cream, pimientos and basil; boil and stir for 1 minute. Reduce heat. Add the Parmesan cheese and pepper; cook and stir until heated through. Pour over the chicken and serve.

Makes 8 servings. Per serving: 544 calories; 41 g fat; 2.5 g carbohydrates; 0 g fiber; 36 g protein

Recipe source: adapted from Fast & Easy by Suzanne Somers and Suzie S.

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