BBQ Chicken Salad with Tomatoes & Corn
Recipe by Becky Duffett | Photo by Erin Kunkel
Summer is here—time to fire up the grill! But barbecue season doesn’t have to burn all your healthy habits. Try this fresh and fabulous salad, featuring sticky-sweet chicken and colorful summer veggies, drizzled in a bomb buttermilk ranch. It’s a smart alternative to burgers and dogs, but it’s also a delicious way to remix leftovers, if you happen to have some bird hanging around after the big cookout.
Note: Ranch is irresistible when you add a big hit of fresh herbs. This recipe calls for a trio of parsley, chives, and dill, but you could just use 3 tablespoons of your favorite, or any combo you like.
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) barbecue sauce, low sodium, plus more for drizzling
1 ear of corn, husks and silks removed
Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
For the ranch dressing:
½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) low-fat buttermilk
½ cup (4 oz/125 g) plain, low-fat Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon each minced fresh parsley, chives, and dill (see note)
Pinch of cayenne pepper
4 cups (4 oz/125 g) mixed greens
1 cup (6 oz/185 g) cherry tomatoes, halved
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup (2½ oz/75 g) crumbled blue cheese
Place the chicken in a glass bowl or baking dish and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Pour the barbecue sauce over and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Oil the grill rack. Pull the chicken out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. When the grill is hot, place the chicken over the hottest part and cook, without moving, until marks develop on the first side, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook until marked on the second side, 5 minutes. Move to a cooler part of the grill, cover, and continue to cook until the chicken is firm to the touch and no longer pink at the center, 10 minutes longer. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice across the grain and set aside.
While the chicken is resting, brush the corn with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place over the hottest part of the grill and cook until marked, turning a few times, 10 minutes total. Transfer to the cutting board. When the corn is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels off the cob and set aside.
To make the ranch dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, chives, dill, cayenne, ½ teaspoon salt, and several grinds of pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Cover and chill until ready to use.
Divide the greens between plates. Arrange the chicken, tomatoes, corn, and red onion on top. Drizzle with the ranch dressing and a little additional barbecue sauce. Sprinkle with the blue cheese, grind with pepper, and serve.
Makes 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
Protein 25 g
Total fat 12 g
Saturated fat 5 g
Carbs 26 g
Fiber 3 g
Total sugar 16 g
Sodium 564 mg