February is famous for producing some of the coldest weather of the year. Along with those chilly days are often dreams of warmer places. Pamper yourself and those dreams by serving a Southwesten Chicken Salad tonight!
This tangy chicken is accompanied by a spicy bean and corn salad and refreshing avocado. Add a little salsa and shredded cheese and you're feeling the Tex-Mex fever. The best way to enjoy these flavors is to mix and match each forkful. If you have extra salsa, pull out some white corn chips and dig in!
The directions in this recipe assume that you will be unable to attend to your meal preparation until right before it's served. If, however, you can start your marinating about 2 hours before you cook, feel free to marinate the bean and corn salad at room temperature for 2 hours instead of overnight in the refrigerator. If it's not too cold, you can also grill the chicken instead of broiling it. It's all up to you -- just make sure you pour yourself a tall glass of iced tea and let yourself dream!
The night before serving, combine oil, vinegar, lime juice, crushed red pepper and hot sauce: shake well. Pour 1/4 c. of the marinade over the chicken breasts in a plastic bag. Refrigerate until ready to prepare, turning occasionally. Meanwhile, combine beans, corn and red pepper in a separate bowl. Pour remaining marinade over the mixture and toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate.
When you are ready to prepare the salad, take the bean mixture out of the refrigerator, mix, and allow to sit at room temperature. Drain the chicken and broil for 4 minutes. Turn the chicken breast halves and broil for another 4 minutes. Slice each breast half into small pieces and transfer onto a plate lined with lettuce leaves. Add the bean mixture, avocado pieces, cheese, and salsa to each plate. Serve immediately.
Yields: 4 servings
Preparation Time: 25 minutes, plus marinating time