Once Upon a Time in Mexico Chicken Salad with Jalapeño-Lime Dressing

Austin's Alamo Drafthouse promotes movie director Robert Rodriguez's movies, especially his 2003 Western cult favorite Once Upon a Time in Mexico. The Antonio Banderas film has earned a permanent spot on their restaurant menu with this tasty chicken salad recipe.

This recipe is from the excellent cookbook, Austin Chef's Table: Extraordinary Recipes from the Texas Capital.

Ingredients:

Dressing:
  • 4 fresh jalapeños
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¾ cups olive oil
Salad:
  • 3 ounces (or 2 ½ cups) mixed salad greens
  • ½ julienned jicama
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced red onion
  • ¼ avoccado, sliced
  • 1 (4-ounce) chicken breast, grilled, baked or pan-fried, and sliced
  • ¼ cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • ¾ cup crispy tortilla strips
Preparation:
  1. For the dressing, roast the jalapeños on a grill until the skins blacken and peel, about 4 to 8 minutes.
  2. Place them in a container and cover tightly for about 30 minutes.
  3. Peel and seed the jalapeños, using gloves.
  4. Combine the jalapeños, lime zest, mustard, vinegar and salt in a food processor or blender, and blend until it is a smooth puree.
  5. With the processor running, pour in the oil in a thin, steady stream to emulsify.
  6. Dressing will keep for two weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  7. For the salad, place the greens in a large salad bowl.
  8. Toss evenly with 1 1/2 tablespoons jalapeño-lime dressing. Top with jicama, red onion and avocado slices.
  9. Place warm chicken slices fanned across the center.
  10. Sprinkle with cotija cheese and top with a stack of crispy tortilla chips.

Kitchen tools you'll need: Food Processors, Mixing Bowls

Total time: 1 Hr 30 Min

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