Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development
PAM SMITH, RDN Culinary Nutritionist, Menu, Concept and Flavor Consultant Shaping America’s Plate

Culinary Nutritionist, Menu, Concept and Flavor Consultant
Shaping America’s Plate

Tyson Foodservice: Pulled Chicken On Southwest Stacked Salad

Recipe courtesy of Chef Pam Smith, RDN

Sponsor: Tyson Foodservice

Serves: 4


Salsa Verde

  • 1 cup Coarsely chopped husked and rinsed tomatillos
  • 1 medium Jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • 1/3 cup Chopped white onion
  • 1/4 cup Chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp Ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Creole seasoning or kosher salt
  • 1 large Avocado, peeled and rough diced

Chile-Lime Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup Fresh lime juice
  • 2/3 cup White balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 Tbsp Chile-lime seasoning
  • 1/3 cup Extra-virgin olive oil

Southwest Stacked Salad

  • 1 lb Tyson Roasted Pulled Chicken
  • 1 cup ½-in cubes butternut squash
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ½ Tbsp Creole seasoning or kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 lb Grape tomatoes
  • 8 ea ½-in-thick red onion rings
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 to 3 cups Shredded curly kale
  • 1/2 cup Sweet corn kernels
  • 1 cup Canned hominy, drained well and patted dry
  • 1 ea Lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 Tbsp Hot sauce (such as Cholula)
  • 1 cup Crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup Toasted pepitas
  • 12 ea Cilantro sprigs or a light handful of leaves, washed and dried
  • As needed Crispy tortilla strips


  1. For the Salsa Verde: Place all ingredients but the avocado in a food processor. Pulse the mixture until smooth. Add the avocado and pulse the mixture once more. Pour the salsa into a medium bowl and season with additional Creole seasoning or salt, to taste. Cover and chill at least 1 hour to marry flavors.
  2. For the Chile-Lime Vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, vinegar, Dijon, honey, and chile-lime seasoning. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking. Cover and set aside.
  3. For the Southwest Stacked Salad: Heat the oven with 2 sheet pans to 400 degrees F.
  4. Pull the chicken into thumb-size shreds, if needed.
  5. Place the squash in a large bowl; season and toss with ½ Tbsp olive oil and ½ tsp Creole seasoning. Spread on one of the heated sheet pans and roast until tender and lightly caramelized.
  6. Repeat that method with the tomatoes; cook until heated and just splitting.
  7. Season the onions with ½ Tbsp olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and the balsamic. Put them in a small ovenproof pan, cover with foil, and roast until lightly caramelized. Remove all the vegetables from the oven to cool to room temperature.
  8. Place the kale in a large stainless bowl, dress it with ½ Tbsp oil and 1 tsp salt. Rub the salt into the leaves and let stand for 20 minutes. This will make them more tender.
  9. Add the corn, hominy, butternut, and tomatoes to the kale, and toss with the Chile-Lime Vinaigrette.
  10. Season the chicken with the remaining Creole seasoning, the hot sauce, and the lime juice and zest. Heat a sauté pan to medium high with the remaining ½ Tbsp oil; add the chicken to the pan and warm through.
  11. For each serving, place a 1- to 2-oz circle of Salsa Verde on a plate or bowl, spread with the back of a ladle to 6 in or so. Place a ring mold on top of the sauce and fill it 3/4 full of dressed kale salad mixture. Press down well with the back of a spoon. Top the salad with warm spiced pulled chicken and 2 balsamic roasted onion rings. Crumble 1/4 cup feta over the top of the chicken and sprinkle with a little more spice. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp toasted pepitas on the salsa verde, garnish with cilantro, and add tortilla crisps to garnish salad if desired. Carefully remove the ring mold and serve.

Chef’s Notes

You will need 4 large cylinder ring molds. They can be made using cut PVC pipe or large clean aluminum cans (such as 28-oz size), with the tops and bottoms removed.

This salad pairs well with sparkling rosé or Spanish Albariño wine.

Project Management: Summit F&B
Photography: Carlos Garcia // Food Styling: Peg Blackley & Bree Williams

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