Ok folks. It’s just about that time of year. Yes, you know what I’m talking about. Your people are watching football. All the time. And they’re wanting pizza and wings and garlic bread and fries. OMG my arteries are getting clogged just thinking about it. But what if you could give them the flavours that they love but just a teensy (ok a lot) bit healthier? Would you be into it?
Imagine homemade ranch dressing and buffalo sauce coating pan fried chicken tenders. Just like everyone’s favs except so much better. That’s what happened when Chef Lynn Crawford teamed up with Hellman’s to recreate some fall favourites.
I’m not going to talk a lot about this recipe. The photos speak for themselves. And yes, I know it looks long. But don’t worry. While there are a few elements to get out of the way, you’ll have two jars of sauce for later and a huge salad for your tummy when you’re done. The whole meal, including the ranch dressing and sauce takes about 1 hr to prepare. If you can chop and stir, you can make this.
Not bad, right?
(Editor’s note: I made a few changes to Chef Lynn’s recipe, such as exchanging margarine for unflavoured coconut oil. But, overall, I stayed true to her creation.)
Chef Lynn Crawford’s Buffalo Chicken Salad with Ranch Dressing
2 hearts Romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup pre-shredded carrots
2 ribs celery with greens, chopped
2 large or 6 small, radishes, thinly sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
½ cup grated white cheddar
1 package (1lb) chicken tenders
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil (1 turn of the pan)
1 Tbsp. unflavoured coconut oil
½ tsp. salt, divided
½ tsp. black pepper, divided
¼ cup Buffalo Chicken Sauce (see recipe below)
½ cup Ranch Dressing (see recipe below)
Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat.
Combine lettuce, carrots, celery, radishes and tomatoes in a salad bowl.
Add oil and coconut oil to hot pan with the chicken. Season with salt and pepper and sear for 2 or 3 more minutes, then add Buffalo Sauce. Reduce heat a little and cook 5 minutes more. Toss salad with dressing and season with salt and pepper. Top salad with white cheddar and Buffalo chicken and serve.
(Yield 1 ¾ cup)
1 clove garlic
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 cup Hellman’s real mayonnaise
½ cup low fat sour cream
¼ cup Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, minced
2 Tbsp. fresh dill, minced
1 Tbsp. minced fresh chives
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp white vinegar
¼ tsp paprika
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
Dash hot sauce
¼ to ½ cup buttermilk (as needed for desired consistency)
Mince the garlic with a knife and then sprinkle on the salt and mash it in to a paste with a fork.
In a bowl, combine the garlic paste, mayonnaise, sour cream, parsley, dill, chives, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, vinegar, paprika, cayenne and hot sace. Add the buttermilk to desired consistency and mix to combine, tasting frequently and adjusting seasonings as needed. Chill for a couple of hours before serving, thinning with more buttermilk if needed.
Buffalo Chicken Sauce
(Yield: 1 ½ cups)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. chopped garlic
2 Tbsp. chopped shallots
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
½ cup tomato ketchup
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
2 Tbsp. sriracha hot sauce
3 Tbsp. white vinegar
¼ cup water
2 Tbsp unflavoured coconut oil
Add the olive oil, garlic, shallots and green onions to a sauce pan and cook over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook together for 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Note: While I wasn’t compensated for writing this post, I was provided with ingredients and Chef Lynn’s amazing recipe.