I've made this salad for years, and just experimented with the pretzel coating and I like it!
You could leave the buffalo sauce off and it would be very kid friendly. You could even get the kids involved in the process, let them crush the pretzels for the coating. I love the idea of getting kids involved in the cooking process early. Not only do they learn a necessary skill, they're so much more apt to try things they've helped prepare. It's proven they become more adventurous eaters.
The base salad is one of my go to's as well. Mixed greens with thinly sliced fuji apple, celery, red onion. When I'm using it as a stand alone salad I also add candied walnuts. Something about those sweet crunchy nuts against the savory blue is so good.
I use a blue cheese dressing but a vinaigrette or a ranch would be great as well.
The chicken tenders are really easy and can be baked or fried. I do them both ways, just depends on how healthy I'm trying to be! Speaking of healthy the blue cheese dressing I use here is one I make using non fat greek yogurt and skin milk.
The mix of sweet apples, spicy crunchy pretzel chicken and creamy blue cheese over fresh greens is a perfect match. Hope you give it a try.
Pretzel chicken buffalo Salad
For the chicken
4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts (if you prefer thighs that fine too)
1 Cup buttermilk
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp McCormicks garlic herb black pepper and sea salt (or garlic powder)
For the breading
1 Cup panko
1 Cup crushed pretzels (I like the butter snaps)
3 Tb McCormicks garlic herb black pepper and sea salt (or garlic powder)
Canola or peanut oil for frying if you're not baking the chicken.
For the buffalo sauce
3/4 Franks red hot sauce
6 Tb butter
8 Cups of mixed greens of your choice
2 Fuji apples sliced thin
4 Stalks of celery chopped
1/4 of a medium to large red onion thinly sliced
1/4 Cup blue cheese crumbles
Blue cheese, ranch or dressing of your choice.
If your baking the chicken pre heat oven to 400.
Cut the breasts into 3 strips each. In a bowl combine the buttermilk, lemon zest and herb seasoning. Add the chicken and let marinate for at least 30 minutes but longer is great.
Once the chicken has marinated, mix the panko, pretzel crumbs and seasoning, stir to combine and dredge chicken in coating.
If your baking the chicken place on a buttered cookie sheet and drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle with salt to taste. Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.
If your frying chicken, place oil in pan to a depth of about 3/4 inch and heat over medium high. Fry the chicken in batches about 3-4 minutes a side. Drain on a baking rack and salt to taste as soon as they come out of the oil.
For the buffalo sauce put franks red hot in a bowl with butter and microwave for 45-60 seconds until butter is melted.
To assemble mix all salad ingredients in a big bowl and toss with dressing. Divide among 4 bowls. Dip chicken strips into buffalo sauce and place 3 pieces on top of each salad and enjoy!