Wednesday, May 31, 2017

BBQ Chicken Salad Bowls

This is another recipe that uses the Instant Pot to good effect, although you can certainly prepare it without one (see the instructions linked below).  This salad would also be a great use for any leftover BBQ meat you have on hand.  The BBQ chicken is livened up with fresh, crunchy kale, bell pepper, and sweet corn.   This is a great way to enjoy barbecue that's a bit lighter and fresher.  Although the recipe calls for buttermilk ranch dressing, and I think that's a great combination, it doesn't happen to be my favorite -- if you're like me, a mild blue cheese dressing or another creamy dressing (or even just oil and vinegar) works just as well.

BBQ Chicken Salad Bowls (adapted from The Kitchn)
Serves 4

For the chicken:
Olive oil
1/2 onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp smoked paprika
Generous pinch of salt
1 cup BBQ sauce, plus more to finish (optional)
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

For the salad:
2 ears of corn
1/2 T unsalted butter
1 large bunch of kale, trimmed and thinly sliced
Olive oil
3 carrots, peeled and shredded
1/2 bell pepper, trimmed and thinly sliced
Buttermilk ranch dressing (homemade or strore-bought)

1. To prepare the chicken in the Instant Pot, heat a generous drizzle of olive oil using the "Saute" function.  Add the onion and garlic, and saute for several minutes, until well softened and starting to brown . Add the smoked paprika and salt and stir to combine.  Turn off the Instant Pot, add the BBQ sauce, and stir well to combine.  Add the chicken thighs, stir until the sauce coats them, and arrange in a single layer. Seal the lid, and press the "Poultry" button.  Alternately, follow these directions from the Kitchn to prepare the chicken in the oven.
2. Remove the skin and bones from the chicken, and shred into bite-sized pieces.  Add more sauce as desired.  
3. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the rest of the salad ingredients.  Shuck the corn and cut it off the cob.  Melt the butter in a small saucepan, and then add the fresh corn and cook for just a few minutes, until tender.  Season with a bit of salt.
4. Place the shredded kale in a large bowl, and drizzle with olive oil.  Add a generous pinch of salt, and then massage until tender and reduced in size (a minute or two).  In a separate bowl, toss together the carrots and bell pepper.
5. To assemble the bowls, start with a base layer of kale.  Top with the carrot-pepper mixture, and then drizzle with buttermilk ranch dressing.  Add corn and shredded chicken to finish the bowl.