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Ensalada con Pollo

Ensalad con pollo in a large wooden bowl.

Discover the Flavorful Delights of Cuban Garlic Salad: A Perfect Pairing with Succulent Chicken and Crispy Fried Onions

Join me as we dive into the healthy and fresh side of Cuban cuisine with Ensalada con pollo. Satisfy your hunger with a mouthwatering Cuban Garlic Salad that's just begging to be paired with juicy chicken and crispy fried onions. This flavorful dish is like a carnival for your taste buds, showcasing all the bold and aromatic flavors that make Cuban food so irresistible. This healthy and fresh Ensalada con Pollo, or Cuban Salad with Grilled Chicken and crispy fried onions checks all of the boxes for a quick and easy flavorful meal.

Garlic is the unsung hero here, adding its savory charm to every forkful. Picture this: a tangy dressing dancing with fresh veggies, all topped off with the rich essence of garlic. It's a flavor explosion you won't want to miss!

And oh, when you pair it with tender chicken, it's like a match made in culinary heaven. The salad's zesty charm perfectly complements the meat's succulence, while those crispy fried onions? They provide an irresistible crunch that adds an extra layer of texture to the dish – adding that extra crunch will keep you coming back for more!

Health Benefits of Ensalada con Pollo

In addition to its incredible flavor, Cuban Garlic Salad offers numerous health benefits. Garlic, the star ingredient, is known for its potential health-promoting properties. It contains compounds that have been linked to various health benefits, including boosting the immune system, reducing inflammation, and improving heart health.

Chicken breast is a healthy protein choice due to its low fat content. It's also rich in lean protein, essential for muscle growth, repair, and overall body function. Additionally, chicken breast is a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and selenium, contributing to overall health and wellbeing.

The fresh vegetables in the salad, such as salad greens, tomatoes, and cucumbers, provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. These ingredients support overall health and contribute to a well-balanced diet. The olive oil used in the dressing is a heart-healthy fat that adds richness and flavor, while also providing beneficial antioxidants.

By incorporating Cuban Garlic Salad with Chicken into your meal rotation, you can enjoy the delightful flavors while nourishing your body with wholesome ingredients. It's a win-win situation for your taste buds and your well-being.

Variations and Substitutions for Cuban Garlic Salad with Chicken

While the classic recipe for Cuban Garlic Salad with Chicken is already delicious, there are several variations and substitutions you can try to customize the dish to your taste:

  • Roasted Garlic: Instead of using raw minced garlic, roast the garlic cloves beforehand for a milder and sweeter flavor. Roasted garlic adds a subtle complexity to the salad.
  • Plantain Chips: Add these for another layer of irresistible texture.
  • Greens: Use mixed greens, spinach or kale instead of romaine.
  • Citrus Vinaigrette: If you prefer a sweeter dressing, add honey or agave. Add freshly squeezed orange juice along with the lime juice. The citrusy notes will brighten up the salad even more.
  • Additional Vegetables: Feel free to add or substitute other vegetables in the salad to suit your preferences. Bell peppers, radishes, or even grilled corn can be great additions to enhance the flavors and textures.
  • Protein Options: While chicken is a popular choice, you can also pair the Cuban Garlic Salad with other proteins like shrimp, grilled fish, or even tofu for a vegetarian option. The salad's versatility allows you to explore various combinations.

Don't be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and flavors to create your own unique version of Cuban Garlic Salad. The possibilities are endless, and you may discover a new favorite combination along the way.

Tips for Serving and Enjoying Cuban Garlic Salad with Chicken

To make the most of your Cuban Garlic Salad experience, consider the following tips:

  1. Allow the salad to marinate: After tossing the salad with the vinaigrette, let it sit for at least 15 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together, intensifying the taste and aroma.
  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Before serving, sprinkle some fresh cilantro or parsley on top of the salad to add an extra touch of freshness and color.
  3. Experiment with toppings: Alongside the crispy fried onions, try adding other toppings like toasted nuts or cotija cheese to further enhance the salad's flavors and textures.
  4. Get creative with presentation: Serve the Cuban Garlic Salad with Chicken in a large bowl or individual plates, arranging the vegetables in an appealing way. A visually pleasing presentation can make the dish even more enticing.

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Cooking Method
Difficulty Beginner
Prep Time: 60 mins Cook Time: 10 mins Rest Time: 5 mins Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Servings 4
Best Season
Ensalada de Ajo con Pollo y Cebolla Frita
    Chicken Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pound Chicken Breast
  • 1 cup Naranja Agria
  • 2 Limes (juiced)
  • 10 cloves Fresh Garlic (minced or smashed)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • Vinaigrette Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Lime (juiced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • Fried Onions
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Red Aji Cachuca Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • Oil (enough for frying)
  • Salad Ingredients
  • 1 Romaine Lettuce
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 6 cloves Fresh Garlic
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Lime
    Chicken Instructions
  1. Marinate ChickenA marinade consisting of naranja agria, lime juice, garlic and salt for pollo in a glass bowl on a white background.

    In a bowl combine naranja agria, lime juice, garlic and salt. 

  2. Raw chicken breast marinating in naranja agria, lime juice and garlic in a glass bowl on a white background.

    Next, decide if your chicken breasts need to be butterflied or pounded. Since this is a quick and easy recipe thin chicken breasts work the best for a quicker cook. Add the chicken to the marinade and let sit for at least 1 hour. 

  3. Chicken breast that has been marinated in naranja agria, lime juice and garlic on a wire rack.

    After the chicken has marinated remove each piece to a wire rack.  Let the excess liquid drain off. 

  4. Chicken breast cooking on a hot griddle for. It will be used for the salad.

    Heat a skillet, fry pan or griddle on high heat.  Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and begin cooking chicken.  Cook for about 5 minutes per side or until done. Chicken should be cooked until 165 degrees is reached internally. 

  5. Griddled chicken for salad on a gray plate.

    When chicken is done remove from heat and let rest.

  6. Fried Onions
  7. Thinly sliced onions on wooden cutting board with a white background.

    First, thinly slice the onion. 

  8. Onion slices marinating in buttermilk in a blue bowl.

    Next, in a bowl combine the buttermilk, salt and pepper. Add the thinly sliced onions. Let sit until ready to fry. 

  9. Flour with salt pepper and red aji cachuca powder in a glass bowl. It will be used to coat onions for crispy fried onions.

    When ready to fry the onions heat some oil in a pot or fryer to 350 degrees. In another bowl combine flour, salt, pepper and red aji cachuca powder. 

  10. Transfer onions from the buttermilk into the flour mixture. Coat the onions and tap off any excess flour. 

  11. Onions frying in oil in a pot to be used as a topping for the ensalada con pollo.

    Fry the onions in the hot oil for 2-3 minutes. Gently move them around so they separate and don't fry in a clump. When golden brown remove the onions and drain on paper towels. Reserve until ready to assemble the salad. 

  12. Vinaigrette Instructions
  13. A vinaigrette made with olive oil, red wine vinegar and seasoning for a fresh salad.

    In a small bowl or a mason jar whisk together all of the vinaigrette ingredients. Let the flavors combine until ready to use. 

  14. Salad Instructions
  15. Ingredients for a salad. Cucumbers, tomatoes, fresh garlic, avocados, vinaigrette and romaine lettuce in separate bowls.

    Chop romaine lettuce into bite sized pieces. Slice the cucumber, depending on the size of your cucumber you might only need half. Cut your tomato into desired pieces. Cut avocado into slices or chunks. Smash the garlic cloves. 

  16. Ingredients such as tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado and fresh garlic to make a garden salad with a vinaigrette.

    Add all of the salad ingredients together. Toss lightly to incorporate. 

  17. Ensalada de ajo served in a large serving bowl.

    Drizzle on desired amount of vinaigrette. Taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking. 

  18. Assemble the Salad
  19. Grilled chicken on a wooden cutting board.

    Slice the chicken breast into bite sized strips. 

  20. Fresh salad with grilled chicken served in a large wooden bowl.

    Lay the chicken strips on top of the salad. Top chicken with crispy fried onions. Serve, eat and enjoy! 

Keywords: Ensalada con Pollo, Salad with Chicken,