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People all around the country this week are saying the same thing…”How is it the 4th of July already?!” Seriously, how did this happen? While I love the 4th of July, the picnics, food, fireworks, and fun, it is bittersweet because it marks the halfway point in summer. I know some people don’t return to school till after Labor Day, but in this neck of the woods, we are back during the 3rd week of August and time is really flying toward that point!
It happens every year, you go to bed on the last day of school and wake up the next morning and it is the 4th and you need a quick meal idea for your holiday picnic or something to nosh on while watching fireworks with the kids. To make life super easy, pick up the main course at the store and just make some delicious side dishes to go along with the meal. Everyone usually associates burgers and hot dogs with the 4th of July, but those aren’t very portable. I picked up some fried chicken at Walmart’s Deli Counter and it was delicious, and more importantly, easy! I first discovered that the chicken at the Walmart counter when I made these General Tso Won-Ton cups. Ever since, I have been grabbing it for quick and easy meals, especially during the summer when I don’t want to turn on the oven.
Because I can never leave well enough alone, I wanted to make a delicious dipping sauce to go with the chicken. We just returned from vacation and while we were gone, my cilantro plant seriously grew 3 feet. So cilantro was the obvious starting point for the sauce. Using other ingredients I had on hand, I was able to throw together this sauce in my food processor. I made it in the early afternoon, threw it in the fridge, and then pulled it out after picking up the chicken. The crispy crunchiness of the chicken goes deliciously with the cool, but spicy, creaminess of the dip!
If you aren’t a spicy food fan, you could alter this recipe to use either less of the jalapeño, or just leave it out completely. I also made oven roasted fries to go with the chicken, and those tasted great in the Spicy Cilantro Ranch Dressing too! I loved this recipe and am already thinking up ways to use the leftovers this week! I can only imagine the deliciousness of other foods with this poured on top!
Just a quick note on the chicken. It comes fresh and hot from the deli counter, but if you buy it in advance and want to reheat it, put it on a baking sheet in the oven at 250 degrees for about 15-20 minutes and it reheats beautifully! You don’t lose any of the crunchy goodness! It is also good cold or at room temperature the next day!
What are your plans for the 4th of July and the remainder of summer? We have another beach vacation that I am really looking forward too!
Spicy Cilantro Ranch Dressing
- 16 oz. sour cream
- 1 bunch cilantro leaves removed from stems
- 1 envelope ranch dressing mix
- 1 fresh jalapeno seeded and chopped into large chunks
- 1 4 oz. can green chiles
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch garlic powder
- *If making as a dressing you can add milk to thin as desired
In the bowl of a food processor, combine all ingredients. Process for 1-2 minutes or until creamy and smooth.
Pour into a bowl and cover. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Mixture will thicken as it sits. Add a few more tbsp. of sour cream if you would like it thicker.
Serve cold as a dipping sauce or dressing!
For more information on Chicken at the Walmart Deli go HERE!