BBQ Chicken Quinoa Bowls

Lately I have noticed a trend in “bowls” of food, served up in pretty sections, with quinoa as a main ingredient — probably because it’s so darn healthy… {and because it goes with everything, like a pretty black dress}. I have had a hard time making quinoa taste good in the past, so I haven’t experimented with it as much as I should have, but I thought it would be delicious in a CPK style BBQ chopped chicken salad, arranged prettily in “bowls.” If you make everything from scratch this salad is holy smokes AMAZING! But it’s also super delicious with store brought BBQ and ranch which saves a LOT of time, effort, work and money for buying all those ingredients! This is one of my new favorite dishes, and I love how {mostly} healthy it is too! I hope you guys like it!

4 chicken breasts
1 slice bacon/prosciutto
1 bunch fresh thyme
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika if available
Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp dry mustard
3/4 cup mayo
1 cup buttermilk
8 Tbsp sour cream
1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 Tbsp sliced scallions
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced fresh italian parsley
1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp minced fresh dill
1/4 tsp minced dried oregano
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp minced fresh basil

{for the quinoa}
1 cup quinoa
1 cup chicken stock

{for the salad}
1 head romaine lettuce (rinsed and sliced thinly)
12 large fresh basil leaves, sliced thinly
1  lb jicama, cut into thin strips
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup canned sweet white corn kernels, drained
2 lbs fresh ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch dices
2 avocados, sliced

For the BBQ Sauce: Wrap the bacon around the bunch of thyme and tie with kitchen twine so you have a nice bundle. Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the thyme and cook slowly 3 to 4 minutes to render the bacon fat and give the sauce a nice smoky taste. Add the garlic and chopped onion and sauté for 5 minutes until softened. Add the remaining ingredients, give the sauce a stir, and turn the heat down to low. Cook slowly for 20 minutes to meld the flavors.

For the Chicken:
Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Season the chicken generously on both sides with salt and pepper, then cook for about 5 minutes either side, until done, or no longer pink in the center.

For the Garden Herb Ranch Dressing: Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a blender, and blend for 2-3 minutes until smooth, thick and creamy

For the Quinoa: Rinse and dry the quinoa. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the quinoa and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Cover the quinoa and remove from the heat, and let sit for 5 minutes until you see tiny spirals separating from the seeds. Fluff with a fork.

To assemble the salad: lay the lettuce down, add the BBQ chicken, tomatoes, black beans, corn, quinoa, jimaca and avocado in sections:

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Drizzle the ranch dressing on top 1 sal5
Stir to combine, and enjoy! bowl2<3 Sarah