BBQ sauce adds depth to this main-course dish
Barbecue! We can’t get enough of it. So why not BBQ Salad?
For this dish, we whipped up a batch of French-style salad dressing. You know, that orangey stuff from the 50s. But we replaced the ketchup with BBQ sauce, and made a few other adjustments.
The result: Deep barbecue flavor. Enough said.
Recipe: Barbecue Chicken Salad
We’ve seen this dish on restaurant menus, and even ordered it a few times. Problem is, restaurants often use regular salad dressing. That doesn’t make sense to us – barbecue sauce makes an excellent dressing ingredient.
You can use any leftover barbecued meat for this dish – chicken, beef, pork, whatever. We particularly like Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken.
Feel free to substitute ingredients or alter quantities to suit your mood (and what’s on hand in the refrigerator).
This recipe takes about 15 minutes to prepare, and yields 4 main-course salads.
For the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons wine vinegar (may substitute cider vinegar)
- 4 to 6 tablespoons barbecue sauce (to taste; use your own homemade version or a commercial sauce)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- salt to taste (a few pinches of kosher salt for us; a bit less if using table salt)
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 head lettuce (we like romaine in this dish, but any lettuce will work)
- ½ red onion
- ~2 cups red bell pepper (we like to use the mini, sweet ones in several different colors)
- 1 to 2 ears of corn (or substitute frozen corn)
- ~2 cups leftover barbecued chicken (or pork, beef, whatever)
- 1 to 2 cups cooked beans (optional; we recommend black or pinto beans; canned beans work fine)
- grated cheddar cheese for garnish (optional; we often skip this)
- Make the salad dressing: Add all the ingredients to a small bottle or bowl that has a tightly fitting lid. Shake hard to incorporate all the ingredients. (Alternatively, add all the ingredients except olive oil to a small bowl. Then slowly add the oil in a thin stream, whisking all the while.)
- Prep the salad ingredients: Wash the lettuce and spin it dry, then tear it into bite-size pieces. Peel the onion and cut it into thin slices or ½-inch dice. Wash the pepper(s) and cut them into thin slices or small dice. Microwave the corn (it’ll take 4 or 5 minutes). Measure out the barbecued chicken. Measure out the beans, if using (wash the gunk off first if using canned beans). Grate the cheese, if using.
- Make the salad: Add the lettuce to a medium-sized bowl. Add about half the salad dressing, then toss it with the greens until the lettuce leaves are lightly coated. Add the chopped onion, chopped bell pepper, and beans, then toss again. Add more dressing if necessary.
- Plate the salad: Divide the contents of the mixing bowl among 4 plates. Cut the corn into short pieces and add it to the plates. Add the chicken to the salad bowl, then toss it with the remaining salad dressing (you can skip this part if you wish). Top the salad plates with the chicken. Add a sprinkling of cheese (if using), and serve.
- In the salad we made for this post, we didn’t use the beans or cheese. But they’re nice additions.
- Spiced nuts (pecans or walnuts) would make another good addition.
- If you don’t want to use corn on the cob for this dish, you can substitute cooked frozen corn. Or just skip it entirely.
- If you prefer a slightly sweeter salad dressing, you can add a tablespoon or two of sugar to the mix.
- A small amount of dried mustard powder (maybe half a teaspoon) might also add a nice tang to the dressing.
- We don’t think black pepper is necessary for this dish, but use it if you like. Or add some at table.
- We think a tomato-based barbecue sauce works best for this dish. We like to use our own homemade Tangy Barbecue Sauce, but any good commercial version will work fine.
Can’t Help Falling in Love
“Love this salad!” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “And the Elvis dressing.”
“Elvis?” I said.
“The way it’s made, you know,” said Mrs K R. “All Shook Up.”
“Ah, the musical.” I said. “It’s coming to Muny Opera here in St. Louis in a couple of weeks.”
“Can’t wait to see it!” said Mrs K R. “So many great songs. Like Jailhouse Rock.”
“Blue Suede Shoes,” I said.
“Heartbreak Hotel,” said Mrs K R.
“Fools Fall in Love,” I said.
“That one should be our theme song, Hound Dog,” said Mrs K R.
Don’t Be Cruel.
You may also enjoy reading about:
Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken
Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork
Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Pulled Pork
Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Beef Brisket
Tangy KC-Style Barbecue Sauce
Or check out the index for more recipes