Boozy Chipotle Chicken & Quinoa Salad

Yields about five cups of salad.


  • 6 strips bacon
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons of chipotle powder
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 8 oz can of light beer
  • 4 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • splash of olive oil
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup cooked sweet corn
  • 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, washed and cut in half
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Avocado Ranch

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup of your favorite ranch dressing


Quinoa Salad

  1. 1. Cook bacon in a large skillet (that has a lid, you will need to cover the pan in later steps) over medium high heat. When bacon is fully cooked set on a paper towel lined plate to remove excess grease. Set aside. Reserve 1 teaspoon of the bacon drippings and discard the rest.
  2. 2. Place the chicken thighs in the same large skillet used to cook the bacon. It is unnecessary to clean the skillet in between. Season the chicken thighs with the chipotle powder, garlic powder, paprika and the cumin. Add the reserved teaspoon of bacon grease and brown the chicken thighs over a medium high heat. Flip the chicken once so that both sides are browned.
  3. 3. When both sides are well browned add the light beer, soy sauce, lime juice and brown sugar to the pan. Stir to combine and loosen any bits of chicken on the bottom of the pan. Allow the liquid to come to a low boil and then cover the pan and reduce the heat to low-meduim to maintain a gentle simmer.
  4. 4. Allow the chicken to cook all the way through, about 20-30 minutes. When the chicken is fully cooked it will be fairly tender. Remove the pan from the heat and use two forks to shred the chicken. After shredding, transfer the chicken and any remaining cooking liquid to an extra bowl. Set aside.
  5. 5. Reheat the now empty skillet to a medium high heat. Add a splash of olive oil and 1 cup of quinoa. Toast the quinoa lightly. When the quinoa is toasted add two cups of chicken broth. Allow the liquid to come to a low boil, cover the pan, and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. The quinoa will take about 15 minutes to cook and will split open when ready.
  6. 5. To assemble: Add the quinoa, shredded chicken, cooked sweet corn, tomatoes, and cheddar cheese to a large bowl. Crumble bacon into the bowl. Mix gently to combine all ingredients. Serve hot or cold, but refrigerate if not serving immediately. Serve with a side of avocado ranch for dressing as desired.

Avocado Ranch

  1. 1. Add 1 cup of your favorite ranch dressing and one avocado (skin and pit removed) to a food processor. Blend until creamy.