Buffalo Chicken Salad with Creamy Avocado Ranch Dressing

Buffalo Chicken Salad

We are in desperate need of a detox. Over the past four days, we ate out for six meals! This salad was originally on the menu for earlier past week, but things came up, so it kept getting pushed back. After being burnt out from all of our meals out, we decided that it would be in our best interest to eat salad for dinner tonight, and so this became our dinner. While I am usually a little skeptical of trying things bearing the "buffalo" name, being from Buffalo and all, we definitely approved of this salad! It was perfectly spicy, yet the dressing gave a cooling effect. While healthy, it was also hearty and filling. Not only was the dressing delicious on the salad, but I think it would be equally delicious on tacos or as a dip for vegetables. I may just have to make a large batch to keep on hand in the fridge!

For the Chicken:
2 cups Panko
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 cup Flour
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 Egg Whites
1 tablespoon Water
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1/4 teaspoon Dried Thyme
Cooking Spray
1 pound Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into strips
1/2 cup Hot Sauce (I used Frank's)

Combine the panko and olive oil in a skillet and toast over medium heat until golden, stirring often, about 10 minutes. In the first of three shallow dishes, spread the toasted breadcrumbs. In the second dish, whisk the flour, garlic powder, and salt. In the third dish, whisk together the egg whites, water, mustard, and thyme. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil and place a wire rack on top. Spray the rack with non-stick cooking spray. Pat the chicken strips dry and season them lightly with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge each piece in the flour mixture to coat completely, shaking off the excess. Dip the strip into the egg white mixture, then finally coat with the panko. Place the chicken strips on the prepared rack over the baking sheet. Spray the top of the chicken strips lightly with additional cooking spray. Bake at 475 degrees for about 10 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink and reads 160 degrees internally on a thermometer. Pour the hot sauce in a bowl and use tongs to lightly coat the chicken strips with the sauce.

For the Dressing:
1/2 Avocado, roughly chopped
1/3 cup Mayonnaise
1/3 cup Sour Cream
2 teaspoons Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
1 bunch Chives, coarsely shopped (I used a scallion)
2 tablespoons Fresh Parsley
1 Garlic Clove, minced
Up to 1/2 cup Buttermilk (I used between 1/3-1/2 cup)
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor, beginning by using only 1/4 cup of buttermilk, and blend for about 10 seconds. Check the consistency and taste, and blend in additional buttermilk as desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

For the Salad:
6-8 cups Salad Greens, such as bibb lettuce and baby spinach
3/4 cup Grape Tomatoes, halved
Crumbled Blue Cheese
1 Carrot, diced
1 Scallion, sliced 

Toss salad greens with cheese, tomatoes, carrot, and scallion. Divide between serving plates and top with a few chicken strips. Drizzle lightly with dressing.

SOURCE: Annie's Eats