Well, here we are in the middle of summer, and it’s been hot here in Wisconsin. We’ve been doing lots of summery things like having picnics in the park, visiting sunflower fields, going to the pool, going to outdoor concerts, going to the zoo and eating ice cream. I LOVE summer in Wisconsin because there’s so much to do! But I really can’t believe that there are now only 3 full weekends left until Peanut starts school(!), and I’m definitely looking forward to making the most of them. Maybe a visit to the state fair, maybe a weekend getaway, more swimming and more ice cream (obviously).
And the vegetables just keep coming – from my CSA and from my garden. So we’ve been eating salads, as per usual in the Domestic Dreamboat abode at this time of the year. Sometimes they’re filled with veggies, veggies and more veggies, and sometimes I add a little meat. This particular salad fits in the latter category – Buffalo Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing.
***Disclosure: I did not receive financial compensation for this post, but I did receive a salad spinner from Zyliss to review and photograph as part of this post. All the opinions that I present are my own and not influenced in any way.
But before I tell you more about the buffalo chicken salad, let me talk a little bit about one of my favorite kitchen tools. I love salad spinners, especially at this time of the year. I find myself using it regularly to clean my produce. It makes the job of cleaning and drying not only lettuce, but other veggies like kale, chard and leeks much quicker and easier.
I was thrilled when Zyliss contacted me to try their Swift Dry Salad Spinner, as I already own and love a couple of their other products. My new salad spinner didn’t disappoint – it was super easy to spin, even with a full load of lettuce and water (even my 4 year old had an easy time with this job, which I could not say about my old spinner). But what I really loved about it is that it got my lettuce super dry very quickly. After all, no one likes watery salad (especially not watery blue cheese dressing!)
Now, on to the salad. This buffalo chicken salad is inspired by one of my favorite restaurant salads ever. It’s made by a local Barbecue restaurant in my neighborhood called Blowin’ Smoke. Since it’s a barbecue place, their salad is topped with their own smoked chicken. And let me tell you, that extra smokiness with the hot sauce and blue cheese dressing really sets it off. But, since most people aren’t smoking a bunch of chicken at home, we’ll use rotisserie chicken.
Speaking of rotisserie chicken, if it’s not something you usually buy, I would encourage you to try it out. I’m in the habit of buying one every time I go to Costco. It’s only $4.99 and I can get several meals out of it. I take it home, stick it in the fridge, then when I have a few extra minutes, take all the chicken off the bones. Then I use it for salads, quesadillas, sandwiches or whatever. No cooking needed!
- ¼ cup plain kefir
- ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese (eg. Roquefort or Stilton)
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 Romaine hearts, torn into pieces, washed and dried
- 1 large tomato, cut into wedges
- 2 large carrots, grated or julienned
- 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup hot sauce (eg. Frank's Red Hot or similar)
- additional blue cheese, for topping (optional)
- Whisk kefir and blue cheese together vigorously until the mixture resembles small curd cottage cheese. Stir in remaining ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use, up to 3 days.
- Divide romaine equally among 4 bowls. Top with tomato wedges and carrot. Drizzle each bowl with blue cheese dressing.
- Whisk together melted butter and hot sauce in a medium bowl until uniform. Add shredded chicken and toss to coat. Top each bowl of salad with ½ cup of hot sauce coated shredded chicken. Garnish with additional blue cheese, if desired.
Buffalo Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing Nutrition Notes
This salad is quite high in sodium, due to the cheese in the dressing and hot sauce. Using rotisserie chicken will also likely add extra sodium, which is not accounted for in the above nutrition facts. To cut down on sodium, cook your own chicken without adding extra salt, and/or omit salt from dressing.