As I’ve mentioned previously, chicken salad is one of my lunch-time staples. Almost without fail, Sunday nights are devoted to preparing my tried-and-true chicken salad for the work week ahead. That said, everyone can use some amount of variety. So, in the spirit of variety, I decided to try a different type of chicken salad. My sense of lunch-time adventure obviously knows no bounds.
This recipe, like the other chicken salad, comes together very quickly, and is perfect served cold. But unlike the other recipe, this Asian version has a little more punch to it – the result of the ginger, bell peppers, and scallions. It’s also more visual, with the addition of sharp reds and greens. If you remember to mix the salad and then add the sesame seeds, your presentation will be that much stronger. Unfortunately, I added the sesame seeds too soon, so they sort of disappeared into the salad.
A thick nut butter is essential to keeping the dressing well-bound, and preventing it from pooling at the bottom of your serving bowl. The original recipe called for peanut butter, but due to a peanut allergy, I needed to find a substitute. Whole Foods carried fresh-ground cashew butter and almond butter, and after a few in-store taste-tests, I settled on the almond butter.
Incidentally, the leftover almond butter soon became the AB, in an ABJ Sandwich, which was the first time I’d ever had anything remotely resembling a PBJ Sandwich. All thanks to my
Chinese Chicken Salad
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Parties!
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
COOK TIME: 40 minutes, plus time for cooling
YIELD: 8 to 12 servings
WHAT TO GRAB:
4 split chichen breasts, bone-in, skin-on
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound asparagus, ends removed, cut in thirds diagonally
1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded
2 scallions, sliced diagonally
2 tablespoons white sesame seeds toasted
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, diced
1/4 cup almond butter (I would have used peanut butter, but I’m allergic)
HOW YOU DO IT:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Leaving the skin on, wash the chicken breasts under cold water, and pat dry. Brush both sides of the breast with olive oil, and liberally salt and pepper each side. Cook for between 35 to 40 minutes. Set the chickens aside to cool.
3. As the chicken is cooling, blanch the asparagus in a pot of boiling, salted water for three minutes. Plunge the asparagus into a bowl of cold-water and drain.
4. Cut the bell pepper into strips that match the size of the asparagus pieces. Remove the meat from the bones, discard the skin, and shred the chicken into bite-size pieces. Combine the cut chicken, asparagus, and peppers in a large bowl.
5. Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing. Pour the dressing over the chicken mixture, and mix well. Add the scallions and sesame seeds, and season to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature!