Who doesn’t love fried chicken? This salad combines health and happiness with the best of both worlds, featuring hot crispy chicken, tangy blue cheese, a bright vinagrette, and crunchy veggies. For a vegetarian alternative, consider swapping the chicken for firm tofu, following the same breading and frying process.
For the chicken
- 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 3/4 C buttermilk
- 1 1/2 C neutral oil for frying, such as canola
- 3/4 C flour
- 1/2 tsp each: cayenne, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder
For the salad
- 1 head butter lettuce, washed and roughly torn
- 1 stalk celery, sliced on a bias
- 1/2 C cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1/4 hot house cucumber, sliced thinly
- 1/3 C parsley, roughly chopped
- 1/3 C scallions, sliced thinly
- 1/4 C blue cheese, crumbled
For the dressing
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 T olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Hot sauce of your choice
Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. In a sealable container, combine buttermilk and chicken. Cover and marinate, refrigerated, for 30 minutes, up to 24 hours.
Meanwhile, prepare all vegetables for the salad and combine in a large bowl, leaving the blue cheese to the side. Make the dressing. Combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Once the chicken has marinated for 30 minutes, remove from the refrigerator.
In a shallow bowl or plate, combine flour, spices, and season with salt and pepper. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk (reserving the buttermilk) and dredge the chicken in the flour mixture. Dip the chicken in remaining buttermilk and flour mixture again so that the chicken is dredged twice.
Meanwhile, in a small sauce pot, heat the oil to 400 degrees F. Once the oil comes to temperature, gently place one thigh in the oil. Fry the thighs, one at a time, for 2 mins on each side. Remove the chicken to a wire rack. Once both thighs have been given an initial fry, fry the thighs a second time for 1 minute on each side. Remove to a wire rack and season with salt. Allow to cool slightly.
Dress the salad, tossing to combine. Add blue cheese crumbles and gently mix. Distribute the salad evenly between 2 large bowls or plates.Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, chop into pieces and place atop salad. Add dashes of hot sauce to taste.
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