Friday, May 11, 2012

Southwestern Salad with Cilantro Lime Pecan Chicken Tenders

As Kelsey mentioned on our 300th blog posting, my husband Tim and I celebrated our 31st anniversary this week.  Can you just imagine what it is like for my dear husband to have to eat my cooking for all that time?  I am sure he would tell you that participating in K and K Test Kitchen has added a good variety to my home cooking.  So, I would also like to thank our followers for your support and encouragement, and for giving Kelsey and I a reason to continue our food blogging.

One of Tim’s favorite salads to have when dining out is a Southwestern Salad with Chicken.  He recently asked me if I could make a similar salad at home, and the result was so tasty that I decided to put it on the blog.  Since I was short on time I used a prepared dressing by Stonewall Kitchen, but the next time I will make my own with the recipe I included below.   The Cilantro Lime Pecan Crusted Chicken was inspired by a Rachel Ray recipe that I love, but adjusted to fit this salad.  This delightful salad will be perfect for a warm spring or summer night and is quick and easy to make!  Enjoy!  Kim

Southwestern Salad with Cilantro Lime Pecan Crusted Chicken

3 boneless chicken breast, pounded and cut into chicken tender strips
1 ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
1 cup pecans, chopped finely
1/2 cup of Stonewall Kitchen’s Cilantro Lime Dressing
1 lime, zested and juiced
Olive oil

4 cups of baby mixed greens, chopped
2 ears of corn, roasted and kernels cut off the cobs (I cooked on BBQ along with the peppers)
5 mini red, orange or yellow peppers, roasted and cut in small pieces 
1 small can of black beans, rinsed
1 cup of peeled jicama, cut into thin, bite size pieces
1 avocado, cut into bite sized chunks
2 tomatoes, chopped
Stonewall Kitchen’s Cilantro Lime Dressing 

To prepare the chicken, first combine ½ cup Cilantro Lime Dressing and the limejuice in a bowl.  Combine the Panko crumbs, pecans and lime zest on a flat plate.  Dip the chicken pieces in the dressing and lime mixture, then dip in the panko mixture.  Heat 1 inch of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat; cook the chicken tenders in batch for 3 or 4 minutes per side.  Drain on paper towels.

Combine salad ingredients together and toss with Stonewall Kitchen Cilantro Lime Dressing.   Top with the Lime Cilantro Pecan Chicken Tenders. This recipe had a hearty dinner salad for two with leftovers for lunch!

An alternative to using Stonewall Kitchen’s dressing is to make your own dressing and the next time that I make this salad, I am going to try the dressing below and double it to get enough for dipping the chicken tenders.

Cilantro Lime Dressing 

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic
3/4 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
1/4 cup lime juice
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Place the jalapeño pepper, garlic, and ginger in a food processor or blender; pulse until finely chopped.

Pour in the lime juice, honey, balsamic vinegar, salt, and cilantro leaves and pulse a few times to blend.

Turn on the processor or blender, slowly add the olive oil until incorporated into the dressing.


  1. Can't wait to try this salad! I love the idea of dipping the chicken in the dressing before breading it. Yum!

  2. For our readers, I also used the same dressing (Stonewall Kitchen's Cilantro Lime Dressing) to marinate some True Cod which I grilled on the BBQ than served with a Mango Salsa. It was delicious and a good way to use the remaining dressing.

  3. Kim this is fantastic. I love stonewall products. So good. Love how fresh and summery this looks.

  4. I'm obsessed!!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE all these recipes!!!!!


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