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Red Robin BBQ Chicken Salad

By Todd Wilbur

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Menu Description: "Breast of chicken basted with BBQ sauce & topped with Cheddar cheese, tomato, fresh avocado, and black beans. Served with Ranch dressing & garlic cheese bread."

In 1969, Gerald Kingen bought a beat-up 30-year old bar called Red Robin in Seattle across the road from the University of Washington. The pub did a booming business with the college and local crowd, but in 1973 building officials gave their opinion of the bar: either fix it up or shut it down. Jerry not only fixed up the 1200-square-foot building, but also expanded it to three times its old size, and added a kitchen to start making food. Red Robin soon became popular for its wide selection of gourmet burgers in addition to the designer cocktails. Jerry says wanted to create a chain of restaurants that would be recoginized as "the adult McDonald's and poor man's Trader Vic's."

Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups chopped green leaf or iceberg lettuce
  • 1/2 cup chopped red cabbage
  • 1 small tomato, chopped (1/4 cup)
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast half
  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce (Bullseye or K.C. Masterpiece work well)
  • 1/2 cup canned refried black beans
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup French's French Fried Onion
  • 3 avocado slices (1/4 avocado)
  • 1/4 cup ranch dressing
  • Do This
    • Restaurant/Brand
      Red Robin
    • Instructions

      1. Toss the lettuces and cabbage together and arrange on a large plate.

      2. Arrange the tomato on the lettuce mixture at the bottom of the plate.

      3. Grill the chicken breast on a hot barbecue grill for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until done. Brush a generous coating of barbecue sauce over the chicken as it grills.

      4. Heat the black beans in the microwave or in a saucepan over medium heat.

      5. Spread the black beans over the lettuce on the left side of the plate.

      6. Slice the warm chicken into bite-size pieces and arrange them neatly over the lettuce in the center of the plate.

      7. Sprinkle the cheese over the lettuce on the right side of the plate.

      8. Sprinkle the onion straws over the cheese.

      9. Garnish the salad with 3 slices of avocado arranged side by side on the right rim of the plate. Serve with the ranch dressing and the remaining barbecue sauce on the side.

      Serves 1.

      Tidbits: You can also make the onion straws yourself by following this simple recipe:

      1. Heat the oil in a wide saucepan to about 350 degrees F.

      2. Slice the onion into very thin onion rings.

      3. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add the cold water and whisk until the batter is smooth.

      4. When the oil it hot, drop the onions into the batter. Remove the onions one at a time, let them drip off a bit, and then place them into the hot oil. You will want to cook these for about 2 minutes, or until you see them turn golden brown. Drain the onion straws on a paper towel.

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