Put down the phone and pull out your cutting board, because Million Dollar Crispy Chicken And Broccoli Salad beats even the best take out!
If getting your kids to eat cooked broccoli is tough, you’re probably already having second thoughts about this salad. Before you dismiss it altogether, know that the dressing that this salad gets first saturates the broccoli flowers before being tossed with everything else. So, super yummy delicious right out of the gate. Any “unfriendly kid” flavors are immediately replaced by a sweet honey mustard vinaigrette. Eclipse that with fried chicken, cheese, and red grapes, and you’ve got a recipe for success!
Inspiration For This Broccoli Chicken Salad Derived From Appleby’s Popular Oriental Chicken Salad – Skip The Take-out!
I’m not a fan of resolutions that draw that ‘line-in-the-sand, all-or-nothing approach’ when it comes to dieting and food choices. After all, it was Julia Child who always said “everything in moderation.” And Julia had the right idea. Why? For me, when I make the decision to cut something out of my repertoire like wine, dining out, or CHOCOLATE (!!!), my intentions backfire pretty immediately.
That “off-limit” item becomes all consuming in my mind and I truly believe I actually begin to crave it more than I would had I not banned it from my pantry. To keep my scales tipping in the correct, healthier direction, I think about Julia and everything in moderation.
I make a point of preparing meals that rival my favorite dining out and take out foods, just…smarter. Million Dollar Crispy Chicken And Broccoli Salad is one such dish, and it’s ENTIRELY simple to make and oh so SATISFYING!
Get ‘Dinner Inspired’ With Some Of My Other Popular Main Dish Salads!
Hey y’all, is it NOT ENOUGH that I’m pairing the dang fried chicken with raw healthy broccoli?
So, no sacrificing on flavor with this one folks. Million Dollar Crispy Chicken And Broccoli Salad is tasty, filling, and ready in under an hour. Faster if you go the store bought chicken tender route, which you should know is a good fallback for the day that doesn’t go as planned. Hey, we all have them. I used to call this my lunchtime classic. But then I shared my ‘Everything Bagel’ Chicken Tenders Salad with y’all, and my ‘salad purist’ attitude turned adventurous as I shook things up.
I received countless star values/rate reviews for that salad recipe. I also gained some followers who pledge TO THIS DAY that these chicken tenders are their go-to boneless chicken for cooking at home. I’ll take fried chicken any way, any time! Here, I pair it with crisp Romaine, fresh broccoli, honeyed almond slices, thin red onion, sharp cheddar shreds, and a tangy and sweet homemade honey mustard vinaigrette that’ll blow the bottled stuff away!
This dish is real food, real fresh, and I would say moderately healthy, but I am not counting the calories. As I said previous to this, and to again beckon Julia, everything in moderation. Hey y’all, is it NOT ENOUGH that I’m pairing the dang fried chicken with raw healthy broccoli? Does this not count for something?? Anything!?? Million Dollar Crispy Chicken And Broccoli Salad is what real simple southern living means to me and my many days spent enjoying the healthy alongside the indulgent.
May Come As A Surprise, But I Am NOT Broccoli’s ‘Biggest Fan,’ So Salads With Broccoli Are A Tough Sell For Me
Broccoli salads as a rule don’t enthuse me. When I was a kid, I did get my groove on over a Chinese Chicken Broccoli Salad that we always got from our local grocer. The butcher in the delicatessen was a self proclaimed “salad genius” and he spent the better part of weekday mornings mixing up colorful cold salads that shoppers could buy by the pound and enjoy at home. It was nothing for him to have upwards of 30+ cold salads ready for the start of the shopping day which was 8am. Many of them incorporated broccoli and cheese in some way or another…
Do You Have What You Need To Make Million Dollar Crispy Chicken And Broccoli Salad? Check The List!
apple cider vinegar
fresh broccoli florets and fresh Romaine lettuce
seedless red (or green) grapes
sharp cheddar cheese shreds
honeyed sliced almonds
fried chicken tenders, store bought or see my recipe here
How Many Blasted Broccoli Salads Can A Gal Handle?
A creamy chicken broccoli avocado salad, crunchy kohlrabi and apple salad, colorful bulger broccoli rabe and mandarin salad, cold chicken broccoli pasta salad, and a somewhat wild looking chicken mushroom broccoli salad were among the quarter-pound containers my Mom would haul home.
In addition to bags of meat ends and cheese ends, which I don’t think any deli actually offers any more, we’d sample our butcher’s ‘art of every other salad with broccoli.’ In a way, Million Dollar Crispy Chicken And Broccoli Salad is a quasi crunchy chicken salad that is patterned after his super popular Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad. Well, that and Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad. Yes it’s a crispy chicken salad. It’s also very much an all around enjoyable main dish which is both cheap and easy.
I recently restructured my Southern Hostess 7 Layer Salad to reflect the ingredients in Million Dollar Crispy Chicken And Broccoli Salad. Hands down, I knew at the very least, the fried chicken and cheese would bowl people over. It really was surprising when I rounded the corner at a pot luck only to find my contributory trifle bowl empty of this salad! I was informed that it was similar to the recipe for Chicken Salad Chick broccoli salad. I’ll take that feather in my cap any day as I adore Chicken Salad Chick!
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
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Ingredients for Million Dollar Crispy Chicken And Broccoli Salad
for the honey mustard vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2/3 cup olive oil I use Thea Greek Olive Oil exclusively
for the Million Dollar Crispy Chicken And Broccoli Salad
if making chicken tenders from scratch, see my recipe for 'Everything Bagel' Chicken Tenders here, otherwise you will need to purchase ; feel like you can omit the everything bagel seasoning if you need to, as the tenders will still be delicious
- 5 to 7 fried chicken fingers rough chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 head Romaine lettuce thinly sliced into 1/2-inch ribbons
- 5 cups broccoli florets trimmed, cut small-ish
- 1 1/2 cups seedless red grapes halved, may substitute green
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 3/4 cup honey almond slices may substitute whole honeyed almonds
- 1/4 cup red onion shaved very thin
- Whisk together honey, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until blended and smooth. Drizzle in oil very slowly, whisking until emulsified, 30 seconds. Place the broccoli florets in a separate large bowl. Add half the dressing to the florets to saturate and completely coat.
- To the broccoli and dressing mixture, add shredded Romaine, halved grapes, cheese, almonds, and onion. Cover and chill 2 to 4 hours. Stir in chopped chicken tenders and toss with remainder of dressing just before serving. **ALTERNATE – serve the remainder of the dressing tableside.
Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only.