Friday, March 16, 2012

Mexican Chicken Salad (Cafe Rio style)

Creamy Tomatillo / Cilantro Ranch Dressing

1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix (or 3 Tbsp dry mix)
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 to ½ cup buttermilk
3-4 tomatillos
1 cup fresh cilantro lightly chopped
½ tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic

Take the papery layer off the tomatillos, wash, and chop. Chop the garlic. Wash and cut the cilantro into 1-2” segments. Put all ingredients in the blender and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate. Best made the day before. Keeps covered for several days. Makes 2 cups.

Cafe Rio Chicken

1 small bottle Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
1 T. chili powder
1 T. cumin
3 garlic cloves- minced
5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts

Cook all together in a crock pot for 4 hours, shred meat and cook 1 additional hour.

Cafe Rio Rice

3 c water
4 t. chicken bouillon
4 t. garlic- minced
1 can green chilies or equivalent fresh
3/4 t. salt
1 T. butter
1/2 onion, diced
3 c rice

Blend cilantro, green chilies and onion together in food processor. Bring water to a boil and add all ingredients, simmer covered 30 minutes.

Pico de Gallo- diced roma tomatoes, white onion-diced, jalapeno- diced, cilantro. Add a little sea salt and fresh squeezed lime.

Other ingredients to put in the salad:
Canned black beans
shredded cheese
tortilla chips
sour cream

Putting the salad together in this order:
rice & black beans
pico de gallo
shredded cheddar cheese
crushed tortilla chips
tomatillo dressing
sour cream

*5 lbs of chicken is a lot, so you might want to half the recipe if you're not feeding a crowd. Or make the whole recipe and freeze 1/2 the chicken for the next time you make it.

* I wasn't crazy about the rice. I used brown rice instead of white and there just wasn't enough liquid. I'm working on getting a cilantro lime rice recipe.

* I bought pico de gallo instead of making it.

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