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Spicy Chicken Salad with Buttermilk and Goat Cheese Dressing

For the Chicken

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 3/4-inch strips

For the Seasoning

  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying

For the Salad

  • 4 cups salad greens of choice, washed, dried, and chilled
  • 2 oranges, peeled, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives, or 1 scallion, green and white parts, thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Buttermilk and Goat Cheese Dressing (recipe below)

In a plastic food bag or non-reactive container, combine buttermilk, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper. Add chicken strips, turning to coat thoroughly. Seal container and refrigerate two hours (may be marinated for up to 24 hours). In another plastic food bag, combine cornmeal, flour, and seasonings. Drop chicken strips, a few at a time, into the flour mixture. With top sealed, shake bag so strips are evenly coated. Remove from bag and place on waxed paper. Repeat with remaining chicken strips.

Preheat oil in Presto® electric deep fryer. If using an adjustable thermostat deep fryer, set at 375°. Place 4 to 6 breaded chicken strips in hot oil. Do not crowd. Fry for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oil and place on paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining chicken. (Chicken can be served warm or chilled.)

Prepare Buttermilk and Goat Cheese Dressing (recipe below). Place chilled salad greens in a large bowl. Add orange slices, onion slices, chives, salt and pepper, 2 to 3 tablespoons Buttermilk and Goat Cheese Dressing and gently toss. Divide among four salad bowls or plates. Arrange chicken strips on top. Serve with remaining Buttermilk and Goat Cheese Dressing.

Buttermilk and Goat Cheese Dressing

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 teaspoons grainy Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced tarragon
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a bowl or food processor and mix until smooth.

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