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You’ll love this BLT salad with the crispiest chicken ever! All the classic flavors of a chicken BLT sandwich, but deconstructed with a layer of chopped crunchy romaine lettuce that’s topped with mouth-watering bites of bacon, creamy bleu cheese, heirloom tomatoes fresh from the farmers’ market, and pan-fried crispy chicken.
A classic BLT sandwich has always been one of my favorites.
There’s something about the savory saltiness of the bacon mixed with the fresh sweetness of a tomato that’s unbeatable.
Over the years I’ve played around with my BLT combos, too. Sometimes I’ll add avocado. Occasionally a slice of cheese or a fun flavored roll.
Or, I’ll deconstruct it into a salad and add some fun toppings, like bleu cheese, sliced crispy chicken and a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
BLT Salad With the Crispiest Chicken Ever
The basics of this salad are simple: chopped romaine lettuce as the base, along with diced heirloom tomatoes and crumbled creamy bleu cheese.
First, I dried the chicken by patting it with paper towels and gave a sprinkle of salt and pepper on both sides.
Then, I prepped the base of the BLT salad by slicing the tomato, chopping the lettuce, crumbling the bleu cheese.
I happened to get some of the last tomatoes of the season from Last Call Farm at the farmers’ market this past weekend—beautiful purplish red slicers.
If you have access to locally grown varieties, definitely choose those for this salad.
If not, my favorite grocery store go-to is a Roma tomato because they slice well and they’re usually not too liquidy.
Next up … bacon.
I’ll preface this with: there are many ways to cook bacon.
I’ve tried bacon in the microwave (eh, works in a pinch) and in the oven (a little dry), both of which are OK, but neither of which seem to hold a star to bacon cooked on the stove top in a pan.
There’s *just* something about the bacon frying in its own rendered fat that makes it melt in your mouth in ways the microwave and oven can’t. And, in the case of this recipe, you need that rendered bacon fat in the pan … because that’s what you’re going to fry the chicken in.
Once your bacon’s finished it’s time to cook the crispiest chicken ever, thanks to a secret ingredient: Argo® Corn Starch. The “secret ingredient” is arguably the most important part of any recipe, because it’s what can set your recipe apart from others and make it a success.
There are many uses for corn starch, the most common being to help thicken sauces and in Asian cooking when making stir-fry. From crispy chicken like this to thickening gravy (and even sidewalk chalk and slime!), Argo® Corn Starch allows you to easily deliver delicious dishes and fun activities your whole family will love.
Argo® Corn Starch is the leading corn starch brand with over 100 years of quality and trust over multiple generations.
Besides those more common uses, when chicken’s dredged in Argo® Corn Starch (or a blend of flour and Argo® Corn Starch), it will leave you with an audibly crunchy and beautifully browned exterior while also sealing in the juices of the chicken.
I like to use thinly sliced chicken breasts because they cook quickly, which is exactly what’s needed for a quick weekend lunch or an easy weeknight family meal.
Argo® Corn Starch is perfect in the coating with this particular cut of chicken because it creates an airy texture—the thin chicken breasts don’t feel weighed down at all.
I seasoned the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper before they were dredged in a mixture of Argo® Corn Starch, flour, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. A quick *swish* of a fork for a few seconds is all it took to blend the dry ingredients together.
Then, I thoroughly coated the chicken with the mixture, on both sides.
After the dredging was done, I moved over to the stove and warmed the skillet (that I cooked the bacon in earlier) to medium/medium-high.
Yes, you read that right. These chicken breasts will be fried in bacon fat.
Once warm, I placed the chicken into the skillet and let it cook for four minutes on one side. You want the outside to get golden and crispy, but you also don’t want it to burn, so be sure to keep watch and play around with the temp as needed. It should sizzle in the pan when you lay the chicken down, bubbling up on the sides.
If your pan isn’t hot enough you run the risk of a soggy, ungolden crust, and that’s no fun. Your goal here is a the crispest chicken ever, with a juicy mouth-watering center.
After four minutes, I used tongs to flip the chicken and then let it cook for another three to four minutes until the other side was equally as golden. You have to pay attention to the heat and adjust it higher or lower as needed, so as not to burn.
Then, once it was done, I removed the chicken to a paper towel to rest for a few minutes before slicing it up.
This is a good time to assemble the salad.
I decided to fashion this BLT salad in “cobb” style, with the ingredients showcased in rows, rather than all mixed up together.
Chopped romaine on the bottom. A row of diced heirloom tomatoes, a row of bleu cheese, a row of bacon and then finally a row of sliced crispy chicken.
A bottled balsamic vinaigrette dressing finished off the flavors!
This recipe’s just as easy to make for one as it is for a whole family. Yum!
Be sure to check out the Argo® Corn Starch brand page for more recipe ideas.
- 6 pieces of crispy pan-fried bacon, crumbled (save the fat rendered in the skillet)
- 3 cups chopped fresh romaine lettuce
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 1/4 cup bleu cheese, crumbled
- Balsamic vinaigrette dressing
For the chicken
- 2 thinly sliced chicken breasts
- 1/4 cup Argo® Corn Starch
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon + 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
For the chicken
- Heat the bacon skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
- Use 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper to sprinkle both sides of each chicken breast.
- Mix together the remaining salt, pepper, flour, onion powder, garlic powder and Argo® Corn Starch with a fork on a plate.
- Gently press the chicken breasts into the flour/corn starch mixture until each side is well-coated (i.e., dredged).
- Lay the chicken breasts into the heated bacon skillet and let them cook for four minutes.
- Flip the chicken and continue cooking for 3 to 4 more minutes, or until both sides are golden and crispy.
- Remove the chicken to a paper towel to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
To compose the salad:
- Lay half the romaine on a dinner plate to create a base for the salad. Add half the tomato, bleu cheese and bacon in rows on top.
- Slice the chicken breasts and lay one in a column next to the bacon.
- Repeat for a second salad. Serve with balsamic vinaigrette dressing.