It has been ridiculously hot these past few days. Today it was about 97* F. When it is this hot, we are looking for any way possible to cool down. Part of that cooling process is to eat less and to eat lighter foods. Tonight was perfect for a nice cool salad. A couple of days ago, my husband was playing with his new toy; his new smoker (new to him), and smoked some beef short ribs and some chicken. I made a smoky, spicy BBQ sauce to accompany both the ribs and the chicken. He made a lot, which means of course there were plenty of left overs. So tonight, I used the BBQ chicken in a salad along with some cowboy beans, tomatoes and onions, topped with a drizzle of BBQ sauce and another drizzle of Vidalia onion dressing. It was a perfect meal to help us cool down from the heat of the day. As I hope you are learning about me, I am the queen of leftovers and recreating them into something completely and totally different than what they were at first. I took smoked chicken and made it into a BBQ chicken salad.
Smoked chicken and ribs with a bold, spicy smoky BBQ sauce. We marinated the chicken and ribs in the sauce before smoking it, and then brushed it over the meat again while it was cooking. I made the sauce from just everyday items we tend to have on hand most of the time. My base was the smoky BBQ sauce from one of my favorite BBQ places around, Georgia Boys. Then I added some Heinz 57 sauce, Sweet Ray’s BBQ sauce, honey, chili lime powder from Savory Spice, red pepper flakes, garlic and onions.
These are the ingredients I used to make my cowboy beans – dried kidney beans, garlic, jalapeno, diced very small; red, yellow, and orange bell peppers, diced very small; red onions, diced small, cumin, sage, crushed Aleppo chiles from Savory Spice, thyme, oregano, and salt and pepper.
Soak the beans for at least one hour, then drain the water. I cooked about 1 1/2 cups of beans, and added about 3-4 cups of fresh water. Boil the beans at a fast, rapid boil for about 3 minutes after soaking them, then reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for about 2 1/2 hours, or until the beans are tender. Saute the vegetables and spices until they are tender. Add the beans to the vegetable mixture.
Layer your salad, starting with chopped lettuce. I used Romaine, but you can use whatever hearty lettuce you like. Then I sliced some red onions very thin, and sliced some tomatoes. I added about 1/3-1/2 cup of beans to the lettuce, then added my sliced chicken. I topper it with with a little more BBQ sauce and some sweet Vidalia onion dressing, and finished it with some chopped cilantro and green onions. The result was a perfect ending to a long, hot day. Delicious!