Greetings, food enthusiasts! Today, I’m excited to present you with a mouthwatering recipe that will take your taste buds on a delightful journey to Southern states. It’s none other than the Southern Fried Chicken Salad Recipe. The crispy fried chicken and lush greens come together in a salad form that is nothing short of heavenly.
What makes this salad so unique is how it combines the quintessential flavors of southern-style cooking with a modern twist. Traditional Southern cuisine is known for its rich flavors and hearty dishes like fried chicken, but this recipe gives the classic dish a refreshing makeover by turning it into a light and healthy chicken salad.
The recipe calls for juicy boneless, skinless chicken breasts coated in a blend of spices and crispy panko breadcrumbs. These succulent pieces are then laid atop fresh lettuce leaves mixed with sweet corn kernels, cherry tomatoes, pecan halves, hard-boiled eggs, and red onions strips, all drizzled with creamy buttermilk dressing.
But wait, there’s more! To add an extra kick to this already delicious dish, we’ll be making our own honey mustard dressing with just the right amount of heat from the hot sauce.
As a chef who specializes in Southern-style cooking, trust me when I say that this delicious salad recipe will impress even those who don’t think they enjoy salads generally. So let’s get started and see why this salad can make any day feel like sunshine!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Welcome to my Southern Fried Chicken Salad Recipe, where flavor and crunch come together for the ultimate southern-style dish. I guarantee that you will love this recipe like no other.
Imagine biting into crispy fried chicken combined with a refreshing mix of lettuce, cherry tomatoes, red onion strips, sweet corn kernels, and pecan halves, all topped with a zesty buttermilk dressing. Doesn’t it sound delicious?
This salad is perfect for any occasion as it is quick and easy to prepare. Whether it’s a busy weekday dinner or a weekend get-together with friends and family, this recipe has got you covered.
But what makes this dish stand out is its versatility. You can easily swap out ingredients depending on what you have on hand or based on your preferences. You can even turn it up a notch by adding Nashville hot sauce or grindstone charlie southern spice to the mix for an extra kick.
Not only is this salad prepared in under an hour, but it also contains healthy ingredients that are packed with vitamins and nutrients. So not only will your taste buds thank you, but your body will too.
In summary, this Southern Fried Chicken Salad Recipe is the perfect addition to your culinary arsenal. The combination of crispy-fried chicken, fresh greens, and tangy dressing create a uniquely satisfying flavor profile that will leave you craving more. It’s quick and easy to make, adaptable to different ingredients, and packed with nutrition. So why wait? Head to the kitchen today and try out this delicious recipe!
To make this southern-style fried chicken salad, we’ll need the following ingredients:
1 pound chicken tenders or boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 baby gem lettuces or 1 romaine lettuce
4 cups mixed salad leaves
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup red onion strips
1/4 cup pecan halves
1 hard-boiled egg, sliced
For the buttermilk marinade you’ll need:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
3 tbsp cider vinegar
1 cup buttermilk
For the dressing you’ll need:
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tsp mustard
1 tbsp honey
We’re also going to make some crispy fried chicken, so for the breading we’ll need:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
And finally, for the spicy ranch dressing, you’ll need:
3/4 cup ranch dressing
Nashville hot sauce, to taste.
The Recipe How-To
Now that we have covered what makes this recipe great, let’s dive into the steps of making Southern Fried Chicken Salad. Below are the instructions for cooking the crispy fried chicken and putting together an amazing salad.
Ingredients for the Chicken
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
Ingredients for the Salad
- 6 cups lettuce (romaine or mixed greens)
- 1 hard-boiled egg, sliced
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup red onion strip, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup pecan halves
- 1/4 cup corn kernel
Steps to Make the Chicken
Step One: Start by preheating your oven to 375°F.
Step Two: Mix together buttermilk, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and cayenne in a bowl. Add chicken to this bowl and toss to coat well.
Step Three: In a separate bowl mix flour with salt and pepper to taste.
Step Four: Take one piece of chicken out of the buttermilk mixture and transfer it to a plate with flour. Coat the piece evenly on both sides by pressing down to adhere the flour mixture.
Step Five: Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot enough add coated chicken pieces to skillet for frying until golden brown (about ten minutes).
Step Six: Now transfer these fried chicken pieces onto a baking sheet before baking in preheated oven for approximately fifteen minutes.
Steps to Make the Salad
Step One: In a large bowl add chopped lettuce, halved cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, corn kernels, and chopped pecans.
Step Two: Now make a dressing by whisking together mayonnaise, cider vinegar, ranch dressing, honey, mustard, and buttermilk.
Step Three: Once chicken has been baked and slightly cooled-cut it into bite-sized pieces.
Step Four: Add fried chicken tenders onto the salad. Drizzle salad dressing on to these chicken pieces and toss well until it is evenly coated.
Step Five: Place sliced hard-boiled eggs on top of the salad.
You have now created the perfect Southern Fried Chicken Salad!
Substitutions and Variations
Fried chicken salad is a delicious and versatile dish that can be customized to your liking. Here are some substitutions and variations to consider:
– Meat: If you don’t have boneless, skinless chicken breast halves on hand, you can use chicken tenders, breaded chicken breast strips, or grilled chicken instead. You can even make this recipe vegetarian by using roasted chickpeas instead of chicken.
– Greens: While romaine lettuce is great for this salad recipe, you can use any type of lettuce or mixed greens that you prefer. Arugula, kale, or spinach would also work well.
– Veggies: Feel free to add or substitute any vegetables you like in your salad. Red onions, cherry tomatoes, and corn kernels add a nice crunch and sweetness. You could also try adding diced avocado, cucumber, or roasted red peppers.
– Nuts: If you don’t have pecan halves on hand, you can use any other type of nut you like to add some crunchy texture. Walnuts or almonds would be great options.
– Dressing: The creamy blue cheese dressing can be substituted with a tangy ranch dressing or even a flavorful buttermilk dressing. For a sweeter option, try a honey mustard dressing.
– Heat: If you’re feeling spicy, add some Nashville hot sauce to your crispy fried chicken. Or for a milder option, skip the ground cayenne pepper altogether.
No matter what substitutions or variations you choose, this Southern Fried Chicken Salad Recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!
Serving and Pairing
My Southern Fried Chicken Salad is a meal in and of itself, but it pairs especially well with a light and refreshing beverage. I suggest serving this salad with a classic sweet tea or lemonade, but feel free to experiment with your favorite drink.
For those looking for something more substantial, this dish also pairs nicely with a side of garlic bread or buttered cornbread. The combination of the flavors in these dishes will leave you feeling satisfied and craving for seconds.
If you’re planning on hosting a gathering or simply want to impress your dinner guests, consider serving this salad alongside some grilled meat options or classic southern sides dish like Mac n’ cheese, collard greens, and mashed sweet potatoes.
Overall, this Southern Fried Chicken Salad is versatile enough to pair with any main course or side dish. With its bold yet subtle flavors, it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser at any event or family dinner.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Once you have prepared your Southern Fried Chicken Salad, you may be wondering how to store and reheat it for later. Luckily, this recipe is perfect for making ahead of time and storing for later use.
To make ahead, simply prepare the fried chicken and salad ingredients separately, then combine them just before serving. This will ensure that the crispy chicken remains perfectly crispy and the salad ingredients stay fresh and crunchy.
To store leftovers, transfer the salad to an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator for up to three days. Keep the fried chicken separate from the salad in another airtight container or wrap it tightly in aluminum foil to prevent it from getting soggy. When reheating the chicken, place it in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes or until heated through. Avoid using the microwave as this can make the chicken lose its crispiness.
If you prefer a cold salad, simply toss together the salad ingredients without adding the fried chicken until just before serving. This way, you can store the salad in the refrigerator for up to a day or two without worrying about the chicken becoming soggy.
In addition to being great for making ahead, this recipe is also perfect for meal prep. You can prepare several servings of fried chicken and salad ingredients at once and portion them out into individual containers for easy grab-and-go meals throughout the week.
By following these tips for storing and reheating your Southern Fried Chicken Salad, you can enjoy this delicious dish anytime without sacrificing freshness or crunchiness.
Tips for Perfect Results
As a southern-style chef, I have learned techniques that will help you perfect this Southern Fried Chicken Salad recipe. Whether you’re an amateur cook or an experienced chef, these tips will help you create a crispy fried chicken salad with fresh and lively flavors.
1. Using Fresh Ingredients
The freshness of your ingredients is key to making a delicious salad. Always use fresh romaine lettuce and cherry tomatoes. Make sure the pecan halves are not stale by sniffing them before adding them to the salad. Moreover, adding sweet corn kernels will enrich the taste of your salad.
2. Marinate Your Chicken
Marinating your chicken in buttermilk overnight or up to 24 hours creates tender and juicy chicken strips. Along with buttermilk, add minced garlic cloves and ground cayenne pepper to the marinade, which will enhance the flavor of your fried chicken.
3. Drying Your Chicken Strips
Before breading your chicken strips, it is essential to dry them with paper towels to remove any excess moisture that might make the breading too soggy.
4. Breading Chicken Strips
The breading is what makes your fried chicken crispy and crunchy on the outside while keeping it tender on the inside. Combine flour with black pepper and salt in one bowl while whisking eggs with hot sauce in another bowl. Dip each chicken strip into the flour mixture, shaking off excess flour before dipping it into the egg mixture.
5. Frying Temperature
Make sure you heat up enough oil to reach 350-375°F in a high-sided pan before frying your chicken strips for about five minutes or until golden brown.
6. Honey Mustard Dressing
This dressing is simple yet so flavorful! Combine mayonnaise, honey, mustard, cider vinegar, and salt in a mixing bowl, and voila! The perfect honey mustard dressing to top over your crispy fried chicken salad.
I hope these tips help you create a southern-style fried chicken salad that is perfect every time. Remember to use fresh ingredients and cook with care, and you’ll have a meal that’ll satisfy your taste buds and leave you wanting more!
So there you have it, my recipe for Southern Fried Chicken Salad. I hope you enjoyed this journey with me, as we explored the ingredients, steps, and variations of this classic Southern dish.
As a chef specializing in Southern cuisine, I can assure you that this recipe is a crowd-pleaser that will be perfect for any occasion. It’s satisfying, filling, and healthy – all at the same time.
In a world where we’re constantly on the move, it’s important to take time to sit down and enjoy a well-crafted meal. And what better way to do that than with a plate of Southern-style fried chicken salad?
So go ahead and give this recipe a try – I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. And don’t forget to get creative with it – add your own twist and make it your own.
Thank you for reading, and happy cooking!
Southern Fried Chicken Salad Recipe
- 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
- 1 1/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast halves
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- ground cayenne pepper
- 1/2-3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- vegetable oil
- 8 cups leaves lettuce, torn (red and or green)
- 1 pint pint mixed cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup corn kernel
- 1/4 cup toasted pecan halves
- 1/4 cup red onion strip
- To Prepare the Dressing: In a small bowl, mash 1 tablespoon of the cheese into the buttermilk with a fork until blended. Stir in vinegar, salt, pepper, remaining blue cheese, and parsley. Cover and refrigerate (can be made 1 day ahead).
- To Prepare the Chicken: Cut chicken breasts lengthwise into 3 strips; cut each strip into 3 pieces. In a bowl, whisk buttermilk, garlic, cayenne, and salt; add chicken. Cover and marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours and up to 6.
- Drain chicken; coat with breadcrumbs. Cook chicken in oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat about 7-10 minutes, turning pieces frequently, or until cooked through and golden. Drain on paper towel.
- To Make the Salad: In a bowl, toss salad ingredients with 1/4 cup dressing; place on 4 plates. Top with chicken. Drizzle with remaining dressing.