Audri Simonelli-Solis, co-operator of Ajo
Ajo - in Bridgeport, 752 West 33rd Street, Chicago
Ajo’s Mojo Chicken Salad (serves 4-6 entrée salads)
2 lbs marinated chicken thighs (or breast), see marinade recipe below, chopped into bite size pieces
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (we use dried beans and cook from scratch, but for your audience, it is easier to use canned beans.
8-10 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 red onion, sliced thinly
½ cup jack cheese, shredded
Avocado Cream dressing, see recipe below
Combine chopped chicken, black beans and 1/3 of the Avocado Cream dressing in a mixing bowl and stir until combined. Place your romaine in a serving bowl and add tomatoes and onion. Add the chicken and bean mixture on top. Sprinkle jack cheese and drizzle on the remaining Avocado Cream dressing.
Ajo’s Mojo Marinade and Sauce:
The cloves of two heads of garlic, ½ cup canola oil, ½ cup lime juice, ½ cup orange juice, ½ cup chopped yellow onion and ¼ cup dried oregano.
Blend the ingredients together in a food processor until combined. Place 2 lbs of protein of choice (this marinade/ sauce goes well with chicken or steak). We use this marinade for steak and chicken at Ajo and will be demo-ing with chicken. You may use chicken breast or thighs, we use thighs. And if you prefer steak, try it with skirt steak. Marinate protein for at least 2 hours – overnight, turning occasionally. Remove protein from the marinade and grill until cooked through. Chicken can also be baked for 30-35 minutes, turning halfway through, in a 350 degree oven. Chicken can be tossed in a salad, as recipe shows above, or can be paired with rice, beans and vegetables.
Ajo’s Avocado Cream Dressing:
2 cups mayonnaise, ½ cup buttermilk, 1 tablespoon cleaned, chopped parsley, ¼ teaspoon chopped garlic, ¼ teaspoon onion powder, 2 peeled & pitted avocados, salt and pepper to taste.
Blend all of the ingredients together in a food processor until smooth and creamy.