Sunday, March 8, 2009

Cafe Rio Chicken Salad

For some reason some of the pictures are going sideways and it's driving me CRAZY!!! In my opinion, this is THE BEST recipe out there for Cafe Rio salads! The dressing is EXACTLY the same as Cafe Rio...TRUST ME...THESE ARE AMAZING!! Tortillas:
4 c flour
1 t baking powder
3 t salt
½ c shortening
1 ½ c hot water

To flour add baking powder and salt. Add shortening, blend with no lumps. Add water. Knead for 15 minutes. Set aside for about 10-15 minutes (or more if you have the time.) Roll out 1 ½ inch balls. Put in frying pan with NO nonstick spray. Then place shredded cheese on one side to melt.

*You can use store-bought tortillas...but do yourself a favor and MAKE THESE! To make them stay thin and big, roll them out on a VERY lightly floured surface and leave them stretched out for a few minutes so they don't shrink back up when you lift them from the counter. Put in the frying pan and only lightly brown both sides. The one in this pictures is almost too overdone. The less you cook them, the softer they stay...or if you like a crisper tortilla, leave it on longer. To melt the cheese, I put a lid over then frying pan for about 30 seconds or less and it melts instantly.
Lime Rice:
2 T butter
1 yellow onion chopped
4 cloves minced garlic

Bring to a boil:
6 2/3 c water
8 t chicken bullion (or 8 cubes)
½ bunch cilantro chopped
2 t cumin
2 small cans diced green chilies
1 T lime juice
½ t salt

Add onion and garlic to boiling water. Add 3 cups rice of your choice (not instant). Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 min.
5 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 large bottle Zesty Italian Dressing
1 cup salsa
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
3 cloves minced garlic

Mix all ingredients in a large crock pot and cook for 10-12 hours. I usually just put the chicken in frozen. Right before serving stir and chicken should shred itself. Make sure not to shred chicken too early because it soaks up all of the juices too soon. Shred it right before serving.
Tomatillo Dressing:
1 package Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch Dressing mix
1 c Buttermilk
1 c mayonnaise
1-2 tomatillos
1 clove minced garlic
½ bunch cilantro chopped
½ t lime juice
1 small jalapeno, seeds and core removed

Blend ingredients in a blender till smooth. I ALWAYS double this recipe (except the's enough for me!)
* Layer salad in this order: tortilla with cheese, black beans, lime rice, chicken, romaine lettuce cut thinly, dressing, pico de gallo, guacamole, lime wedge, and cilantro and parmesan to top it off. This makes enough for at least 10-12 people...and you'll even end up with leftovers! But that's fine with me because Justin and I have this salad for dinner about 3 more times after the first makes A LOT! Trust me...MAKE THIS won't regret it!

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