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The Gourmet Guy

Southwest Chicken Salad

By Eric Burns – The Crossroads Burger Truck

Preheat oven to 375 F

Dry Rub: Mix well in medium bowl

4 tablespoons dry smoked chipotle powder

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 tablespoon black pepper


Chicken Salad Prep: 

1 pound skinless chicken

1/4 cup diced onion

2 tablespoons diced celery

1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons dry cumin

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 to 1 1/4 cup mayonnaise (moisture level of chicken, celery and onion can vary. Add mayo in small amounts to create desired consistency).


Rub the dry rub on the chicken on both sides. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and into the pre-heated oven. Bake for 10-20 minutes, turning chicken halfway through. (Oven temps and meat thickness will vary – you’ll want a slightly browned, juicy finish.) Remove from the oven and shred the chicken by hand. Do not chop. Cool chicken to fridge temp before mixing. Mix in remaining ingredients and enjoy!


About the Chef

My name is Eric Burns, and I own the Crossroads Burger Truck in Salida. I have cooked off and on professionally for 32 years and have always appreciated quality and freshness in my foods. I moved to Colorado in 1991, spending 19 years in Breckenridge and Alma. After 20 years of many 100-day ski years, I decided to move south to Salida.

In 2012, a friend and I opened the “Smokeshack” at the Gunsmoke Truck Stop in Buena Vista, but due to ownership changes we had to close and I focused on Salida for my business interests. After months of looking at restaurant sites and simultaneously shopping for a food truck to see which would happen first, the truck won! I am proud to serve locally sourced beef burgers, hormone-free cheeses and hand-cut fries made from Colorado potatoes.