Since I was so happy with how the Greek yogurt-based blue cheese dressing turned out for my wedge salad, I decided I wanted to see what else it would taste good with. I also wanted another crack at the smoked blue cheese.
Buffalo chicken wings aren't a personal favorite, but they are an interesting use of blue cheese dressing, which serves as a sharp counterpoint to the wings' spicy hot sauce and the refreshing celery stalks.
For this salad, I adapted that party favorite into a dish that I think would be perfect for a picnic. I lightened the chicken by sautéing them in olive oil, rather than the traditional deep fry and slather with butter (not that I object to slathering anything with butter). For some extra crunch, I also toasted some sliced almonds in a dry pan until they were nicely browned.
A neat trick when making anything with celery is to chop the celery leaves and use them as an herb garnish. They look nice and, no surprise, they taste like celery.
Buffalo Chicken Salad
1 garlic clove, finely minced with added salt to make a paste
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. agave syrup
Fresh ground black pepper and salt to taste
2 oz. smoked blue cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 tbsp. olive oil
Seasoning salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
3/4 lb. chicken breast cutlets
Hot sauce (such as Tabasco), to taste
4 cups torn green leaf lettuce
2 celery stalks, chopped at a sharp angle
1. To make the dressing, mince the garlic clove with a pinch of salt until it's very fine, almost a paste. Add to medium-size bowl with yogurt, lemon juice, agave syrup, pepper and salt and stir well to combine. Add blue cheese crumbles and stir to coat cheese.
2. Heat a small pan over medium-low heat. Toast the almond slices, stirring occasionally, until browned. Set aside.
3. Heat olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. When hot, pat chicken dry and add to pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook about 10 minutes, flipping halfway. Set aside to cool and then chop. Add chopped chicken to a medium-size bowl. Douse with Tabasco to reach desired spiciness (I did about 10 squirts, which was not very spicy).
4. Put lettuce and celery in a large bowl. Toss with dressing. Serve dressed vegetables on plates topped with sauced, sautéed chicken, toasted almonds and chopped celery leaves.