This recipe for Buffalo Chicken Salad-Done Light combines the flavors from your favorite Buffalo chicken wings and puts them into a perfect low-fat, better for you, salad. Great use of left-over rotisserie chicken, or poach a breast or two up fresh - perfect for a simple lunch or dinner.
The Story of Buffalo Chicken Salad-Done Light
I love Buffalo chicken wings. There's a vicarious thrill sucking that tender meat off the bone, with the spicy sauce tempered with a blue cheese dip. But as is sometimes the curse of being a food blogger, FitBit user, at 103 calories and 7.1 grams PER wing, I decided not to do that so much anymore.
Can't eat just one wing and be happy.
I love rotisserie chicken. Whether I make it myself, or, on those crazy nights when I just don't have time and buy it at the store. And in most (all) cases, I have left-over chicken...which I love to use making an easy BBQ Chicken Sandwich. At only 385 calories, including bun, and 13g of fat, it makes a pretty satisfying use of turning leftovers into a deliciously simple meal.
Going back into the way-back machine, I remember a BBQ Chicken Salad they use to serve at Red Robin. Mounds of lettuce with cheddar cheese, bbq chicken, doused in a heavy amount of ranch dressing, and topped with fried thin onion rings. OMY that was good. Of course not knowing then what I know now about The Good, Bad and Ugly Truth about Salads I was probably eating the equivalent of 20 of those yummy Buffalo chicken wings.
Toss up on which would be more satisfying.
And so I thought...why not mix them both together? Like chocolate and peanut butter, it's a perfect match.
So how to make all this better?
Why not mix them together?
Like chocolate and peanut butter, it's a good mix.
For this Buffalo Chicken Salad-Done Light, I used left-over rotisserie chicken, but if you don't have any, you could easily poach a breast or two. To poach; bring enough salted water to a simmer over medium heat (you can add extra flavor to the water if you desire, peppercorns, bay leaf, lemon. But since the meat is going into BBQ sauce anyway, that's about all the fuss I would do); add the chicken breasts and simmer, slowly, do not BOIL or you have tough breasts, for 10 minutes, turning once. Then cover the pan and allow to sit in the hot water for 10 minutes more. Check to make sure the thickest part of the breast is white, if not, close the lid and let it sit a couple of minutes more. Whatever you use, allow it to just cool enough to handle, then shred it and then put it into the BBQ sauce to get well coated.
The BBQ sauce I use is Lindy's Favorite BBQ Sauce, which, while it does already contain Tabasco, I admit I do add a little additional kick to it. After all, Buffalo Wings are about their heat. So a bit more tabasco, a dash of cayenne pepper. Yeah, that works.
This is a pretty "hefty" salad so I like to use a combination of hearty romaine hearts and mixed spring lettuces. You could use all romaine, but I wouldn't use all spring, they are too soft and will bruise. So if choosing one or the other, choose romaine.
I like the celery in my Buffalo Chicken Salad. Carrot? Not so much. But if you do like carrot with yours, feel free to add some shredded carrot. It is, after all, a part of the whole Buffalo wing experience.
Then, in the spirit of keeping this on the low-fat side, I dress it with my Quick Low-Fat Blue Cheese Dressing, 5 minutes, 63 calories, 5g fat...with the additional blue cheese sprinkles - add 110 calories per 3 tablespoons.
But you're only going to use one (1 tablespoon) of crumbles... right?
Buffalo Chicken Salad-Done Light (Right)
Buffalo Chicken Salad-Done Light
- 6 ounces shredded chicken I'm using left-over rotisserie chicken but you could poach a chicken breast if you don't have left-over
- ½ cup Lindy's Favorite BBQ Sauce or your favorite bottled BBQ sauce*
- 4 - 6 tablespoons Quick Low-Fat Blue Cheese Dressing or your favorite from a jar But WHY?
- 6 cups mixed greens I like to use a combination of romaine and mixed baby lettuces
- 2 ribs celery sliced thinly on the diagonal
- 2 green onions sliced thinly on the diagonal
- Additional bleu cheese crumbles for topping optional
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Additional cayenne pepper and/or tabasco sauce, to taste, if desired
- Combine the shredded chicken and bbq sauce in a sauté pan and heat until hot and well combined. Turn off the heat and allow to sit as you prepare your salad ingredients. You want the meat to be warm, but not hot.
- In a large bowl combine the salad greens, celery, onions, and dressing. Toss well to combine. Place into individual serving dishes; top with chicken mixture and additional blue cheese crumbles. Season to taste with salt and pepper.