Coconut Chicken Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing

  • Yield: servings


1pound chicken tenders
1/2cup flour
2-- eggs, beaten
2cups sweetened, flaked coconut
2-- 3 teaspoons poppy seeds
-- Canola or vegetable oil for frying
1/2cup cream cheese
1/2cup peppercorn ranch salad dressing
2tablespoons cilantro
1/2-- garlic clove
2tablespoons salsa verde
-- Salt and pepper
1/2cup canned black beans (rinsed and drained)
1/2cup canned corn
1cup chopped mango
1/2cup finely chopped onion
1/2-- jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
-- The juice of one lime, plus extra lime slices for garnish
1-- bag mixed salad greens
1-- avocado, sliced
1/2cup crumbled queso fresco (Mexican cheese, substitute Feta)


Pour the oil into a large skillet, filling only halfway and set the heat to medium-high. Dredge the chicken tenders though the flour, shaking off any excess. Next, dredge the chicken though the eggs, fully coating each tender. Finally, dredge the chicken through the coconut and fry in the hot oil for about 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown and done in the center. Sprinkle poppy seeds over each chicken tender as soon as they are pulled from the oil, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the chicken to a plate covered with paper towels.

FOR THE DRESSING: Combine the cream cheese, salad dressing, cilantro, garlic, salsa verde and salt and pepper to taste in a blender and blend until well combined.

FOR THE SALSA: In a small bowl, combine the black beans, corn, chopped mango, onion, jalapeno, and lime juice. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

TO ASSEMBLE THE SALAD: Place the salad greens in a large salad bowl (or in individual serving bowls/plates as desired). Toss the salad greens with the dressing, using only enough to coat – there will be extra. Place the chicken strips over the greens and drizzle a little more dressing over the top. Pile the mango salsa over the chicken and assemble the avocado slices around the edge of the salad. Top the whole salad with crumbled queso fresco and garnish with slices of fresh lime. Serve right away.