Sunday, 30 March 2014

Mexican Chicken Salad with Jalapeno Lime Dressing

My husband saw these salad leaves come off the production line when he visited Hussey Farms in Pearcedale, Victoria. These leaves are a special mix for Aldi - the same leaves are exported to the best restaurants in Singapore and Hong Kong. Many would say they're the best in Australia. So when you get great greens like this, it would be a crime not to use them in a smokin' salad. They are so "A"-List, they got to hang out with creamy avocado, "pop-corn" beans, crunchy tortilla chips, smoky pan- fried chicken and a spicy green dressing. Stellar company indeed.

NOTE: This is not a sponsored post, but when I find a top quality product, I want to shout about it.

Mexican Chicken Salad with Jalapeno Lime Dressing
loosely based on Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals
Serves 4

For the Crunchy Tortilla Chips:
200g tortilla chips
40g cheddar cheese, finely grated
1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
1 fresh green chilli, finely chopped

For the Salad:
1 x 400g kidney beans , drained and rinsed
1 x 400g four bean mix, beans , drained and rinsed
olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 avocado, thinly sliced
200g mixed salad leaves
A handful of coriander leaves

For the Chicken:
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast fillets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon Mexican chilli powder
Juice of I lime

For the Jalapeno and Lime Dressing:
2 spring onions, roughly chopped
1/4 cup coriander leaves
1 tablespoon sliced pickled jalapenos and about 2 teaspoons of the pickling brine
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
Juice of 2 limes

Marinate the Chicken:
Put the oil, garlic salt, smoked paprika, Mexican chilli powder and lime juice into a large shallow bowl and add the chicken fillets. Coat the chicken with the marinade then chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Crisp the Chips:
Preheat the grill (broiler), to high.

Spread the tortilla chips ona baking tray in a single layer. Add the chopped red and green chillies and sprinkle over the grated cheese. Grill (broil) until the chips are golden and the cheese has melted. Remove from the grill and set aside.

Pop the Beans:
Put a large frying pan over medium-high heat and pour about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in. Add all of the beans, the ground cumin and the ground coriander and fry the beans until they start to blister and pop. When they are crispy take them off the heat and put them on a plate. Wipe the pan clean.

Fry the Chicken:
In the pan you used to fry the beans, pour in enough olive oil to fry the chicken. Heat the pan on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot lay the chicken in and fry on one side until golden brown. Turn and fry on the second side until golden brown and cooked through. Remove to a board and allow them to rest for 5 minutes. Once rested, slice them thinly on the diagonal.

Make the Dressing:
Put all the dressing ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth.

Assemble the Salad:
Lay the salad leaves on a large platter. Scatter over the pop-corn beans. Arrange the sliced avocado and chicken on top and add some of the crispy tortilla chips, crushing a few as you go for proper sprinkling. Finish with a few coriander leaves and a drizzle of Jalapeno Lime Dressing. Serve the salad in the centre of the table with the remaining Tortilla chips and dressing on the side.


  1. Aww when you come into a nice product, it's normal to talk about it so many people can try it too! Love your salad, I'm sure it was perfect! And the dressing...yummm :)

  2. Wish I was having this for lunch... looks and sounds great!

    1. That salad is long gone. I just ate a bagel for lunch.

  3. Oh I'll have to give these leaves a try. When I can't get to the farmers market I am often stuck with second rate leaves, but no more!
    Also, this salad looks divine and perfect for our vegetarian/omnivorous household! More beans for me, more chicken for him. The dressing sounds as though I may want to drink it straight from the that too unladylike?

    1. I love farmers markets, I really do. But some produce can get a little limp and unappetising when it's sitting around for too long.
      We have a similar situation re: meat and non-meat eaters in our house. Some eat most of the beans while others eat most of the meat. Works for us.
      And with the drinking straight from the jug thing, who said that was unladylike? Not I.

  4. Beautiful salad, love the dressing, great pics!

    1. Thanks Cheri. The dressing is worth making on its own.

  5. That is gorgeous. Absolutely, lip-smackingly gorgeous! I love the idea of that avocado salad dressing the most. Jalapenos, lime, coriander... definitely the best of friends. I'm definitely going to try this one Jen. It conjures images of summer, which I'm trying to hang on to as the sunlight slowly fades to grey around here... wah.

    1. We are still having some hot days here. Perfect for lime squeezing... for salad dressings and mojitos.

  6. This looks like the perfect salad! Thanks for sharing! Your photos are amazing! I can almost grab a bite.....almost! ;)

    1. Thanks Jessica. I so wish you could reach in and grab some.