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Chili's Grilled Caribbean Salad

By Todd Wilbur

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Menu Description: "Grilled, marinated chicken breast, mixed greens, pico de gallo, pineapple chunks, tortilla strips & honey-lime dressing."

Larry Levine started building his chain of Chili's restaurants in Dallas in 1975. At that time, Chili's was basically a hamburger joint with a gourmet touch, dining room service and booze. Even though the menu then offered only eleven items, the restaurant was so popular that the throngs of hungry customers waited patiently in lines extending into the parking lots. This caught the eye of persuasive restauranteur Norman Brinker, who, in 1983, convinced Larry to sell his chain of Chil's restaurants, which by then had grown to a total of thirty.

Before Norman had stepped into the picture, more than 80 percent of Chili's business was in hamburgers. Today a much larger menu reflects the current trends in food, and salads are some of the best-selling items. These days the Grilled Caribbean Salad with the tasty honey-lime dressing is the salad of choice.

Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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Honey-Lime Dressing
  • 1/4 cup Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
Pico de Gallo
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced Spanish onion
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and de-ribbed
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced fresh cilantro
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki marinade
  • 4 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
  • 4 cups choppped green leaf lettuce
  • 1 cup chopped red cabbage
  • 1 5.5-ounce can pineapple chunks in juice, drained
  • 10 tortilla chips
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    • Instructions

      1. Combine all the ingredients for the honey-lime dressing in a small bowl with an electric mixer. Cover and chill.

      2. Combine all the ingredients for the pico de gallo in a small bowl. Cover and chill.

      3. Marinade the chicken in the teriyaki sauce for at least 2 hours. You can use a resealable plastic bag for this. Put the chicken into the bag and pour in the marinade, then toss it into the fridge.

      4. Prepare the barbecue or preheat a stovetop grill. Grill the chicken for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until done.

      5. Toss the lettuce and cabbage together, then divide the greens into two large individual-serving salad bowls.

      6. Divide the pico de gallo and pour it into two even portions over the greens.

      7. Divide the pineapple and sprinkle it on the salads.

      8. Break the tortilla chips into large chunks and sprinkle half on each salad.

      9. Slice the grilled chicken breasts into thick strips, and spread half the strips onto each salad.

      10. Pour the dressing into two small bowls and serve with the salads.

      Serves 2.

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