Thursday, March 27, 2014

Alice Springs Chicken Ranch Salad

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced to 1/2" thickness
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
Seasoning salt
6 bacon slices, cooked
Ranch Dressing
1 can (4 oz.) mushrooms, drained
1 cup shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Sprinkle chicken with seasoning salt.  In a large skillet heat oil.  Brown chicken on both sides.  Place in an 9 x 12 x 2" baking pan sprayed with non-stick spray.  Drizzle heavy with ranch dressing.   Break up bacon slices over chicken.  Add mushrooms evenly over bacon.  Cover with cheese.  Bake 20-25 minutes.  Serve over lettuce with Ranch Dressing.

Martha:  Sis, the 1st time I had this was when we did our book signing near your home in Florida.  Remember, we all went to Outback for dinner.  Your daughter Leslie suggested the Alice Springs Chicken which I loved.  Someone send me a copy of the recipe but I've never tried it.  Then, a friend and I went to Outback for lunch and I tried it again reminding myself how good it is.  Well, while eating I dipped a little in my Ranch Dressing instead of the Honey Mustard.  So good.  I actually went to bed that night trying to come up with an idea for changing it to the Ranch Dressing and finding a different way to serve.  Then it hit me... a salad.  Perfect and so good.

Lillian:  I love Ranch dressing and use it so often for more than on a salad.  I don't care for mustard much and I know that the original recipe calls for it.  However, I do like a bit of honey mustard in some things.  Chicken, in particular, lends itself well to honey mustard, as does pork.  This "twist" to the regular Alice Springs recipe will be a hit at any dinner table.  Good going, Martha!

Food Tester Carol:  I don't know if Alice Springs Chicken hails from Australia or whether it is just a figment of Outback's imaginative menu, but whatever the case, it is a delicious way to "dress" a chicken.  The sautéed chicken, still juicy and tender, is layered with mushrooms, crumbled bacon and grated cheese and heated just enough to melt the cheese.  It is usually accompanied by honey-Dijon dressing but in this version, it is also emphatically delicious with Ranch dressing!  Martha has used the Alice Springs Chicken recipe as a topper for a salad of crisp greens, tomato wedges and added the Ranch dressing to the salad.  My taste buds aren't accustomed to eating these flavors together and I found myself wanting more, more, more.

Martha:  I had some of the chicken with the cheese, bacon and mushroom topping left over.  I decided to see how this would be as a sandwich.  OH MY!  Heat and put it between 2 pieces of toast with just a little mayo and you have a great leftover sandwich.