Fiesta Chicken Salad

Finally. Finally, Finally, Finally. You know how much I like living in Maine. How grateful I am for seasons, especially fall and winter. And what mixed feelings I have about spring; it kind of freaks me out. But, seriously. Thank God. Because FINALLY it is sunny. And warm. Well, warmish. In the low sixties. It’s light later and later. Magic hour has this amazing out of time quality and it’s cool but warm enough to be outside, running around, exploring tide pools, feeling grass and sand under our feet again. I am teaching Violet about flowers and birds. We’re looking and thinking and photographing and saying hello to dogs and meeting kids at the playground. We’re walking in the South End of Rockland, a somewhat seedy, very funky, up-and-coming neighborhood that I really love. There is a park there on the water, a sort of a dog park, but I bring my kid instead. There are ships on shore and boats bobbing in the inlet and craftsmen building things by hand and a coast of pines and lots of grass to run and play on. We brought our picnic there. And then, because we had salad packed with protein and gorgeous veggies for supper, we went to get an ice cream for dessert. This is an ideal evening, I am telling you. It’s how life should be.

Fiesta Chicken Salad
Serves 4


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into tenders
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 2 ears sweet, fresh corn kernels of the cob
  • 1 cup purple cabbage, shredded
  • 6 radishes, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 12 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


For the chicken:

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm vegetable oil. Season chicken breasts with chili, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook until golden brown.

For the dressing:

Combine avocado, Greek yogurt, milk, lime juice, and olive oil in a blender or food processor and whiz up until pale green.

For the salad:

Compose this salad with care. Layer greens on a plate, then arrange the vegetables, chicken tenders on top. Serve dressing on the side.

Jillian Bedell

Jillian Bedell is a writer and mother living in a farmhouse in Cushing, Maine. She is very good at talking about herself in the third person. She is co-author of Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road.

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