I’m here with the first official recipe of #BowlinOut: a month of real, tasty, simple food in bowls. I don’t remember the last time I ordered pizza at a California Pizza Kitchen. As a matter of fact, I don’t remember the last time I ate there either, which is sad considering they make the most extravagant BBQ chopped chicken salad in the world. This menu item is the Holy Grail, and for whatever reason, CPK charges $3 extra for avocado on top and I gladly oblige every time. All that to say that I didn’t pioneer this recipe, I simply perfected it. I added crunchy radish and red onion and opted for my own cilantro-lime ranch recipe, which is the icing—er, the dressing on the cake. Try this recipe on a warm sunny day. Actually try it literally any day, cause it’s just that good. The beauty is in its rainbow presentation which will make you feel like the picture of health. Remember those grades school nutrition campaigns that encouraged you to eat every color of produce? That’s this, pretty much.
Serves: 1 | Cook and Prep Time: 45+ minutes
4 c butter lettuce
¼ lb chicken thighs, skin on, bones removed
2 tbsp your favorite barbecue sauce
1 tsp neutral oil (corn, canola, safflower, avocado)
½ tsp cracked black pepper, more for garnish
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 small Hass avocado
¼ c canned black beans
¼ c sweet corn kernels
½ Roma tomato
¼ small red onion
2 red radishes
4 crushed tortilla chips (I’m loving Siete Foods right now!)
Fresh cilantro for garnishing
In a bowl, combine the barbecue sauce, oil, 1/2 tsp of black pepper, and smoked paprika. Add the chicken thighs to the bowl and make sure they are well-coated in the sauce mixture.
Refrigerate the chicken in the covered bowl or a freezer bag for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 day.
If you are using canned beans and corn, rinse them and drain them of any excess liquid and set them aside.
Salad prep: finely chop the lettuce, tomato, and red onion. Slice the lime and radish and crush up your tortilla chips!
Heat up a grill pan or skillet to medium high with a light spray of oil. Place the chicken skin-side down in the skillet and allow them to cook for 5 minutes.
Flip the chicken over and allow it to sizzle in your skillet for another 5 minutes or until it appears done and charred on both sides. If you’re unsure, use a thermometer and look for a 165 degree Fahrenheit internal temperature!
Remove the chicken from the heat, allow it to cool on a cutting board for 5-10 minutes while you assemble the salad.
Salad assembly: layer of lettuce, corn, beans, tomato, red onion, radish, tortilla chips, squeeze of lime, sliced avocado, chicken, and drizzle of dressing! Garnish with fresh cilantro and lots of black pepper.