Chinese Chicken Salad
From the latest issue of Cuisine at home...I'd rate it a 10. Pretty enough to make for company and simple enough to do often for family! Much of it can be done ahead. Caution: this dressing is addictive!
For the Chicken:
Poach 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1 1/2 lb)
in 3T soy sauce and water - thusly:
Place soy sauce and chicken breasts in large sauce pan, barely cover with water; bring to boil, cover tightly and allow to sit off the heat for 30 minutes. Cut into bite sized pieces and and chill.
Toast 2T sesame seeds in a dry skillet until golden, stirring often. Set aside.
2/3 C (this is really good so you might want to do more!) slivered almonds
1/4 C dark brown sugar
2 T unsalted butter (I used salted butter and liked it but that's what I had - visiting you know!)
Melt butter in small sauce pan, add nuts and saute until golden - about 2 minutes; add brown sugar and stir until melted and combined. Turn out onto foil lined surface to cool. Crumble after it cools. I just made a package out of the foil and smacked it on the counter!
In a blender combine:
1 C mayonaise
1 C cilantro leaves
3 T Seasoned Rice Vinegar
2 T Asian sesame oil
2 T soy sauce
1 T sugar
1 T fresh ginger - minced very fine but not grated.
pinch of cayene (I substituted a few grounds of fresh black pepper because I couldn't find the cayene and because I'm a wimp)
Combine chicken, 1 head iceberg lettuce chopped or torn (always prefer to tear lettuce so it doesn't brown) ( I'm sure any of robust lettuce you favor would be fine - or a combination) 1 1/2 C chow mein noodles
3 grated carrots. Toss with dressing and garnish with sesame seeds and almonds.
You can prepare the dressing ahead and keep it in the fridge - in the blender container and re-swirl a bit before combining. It would be a wonderful picnic dish as long as you kept the noodles and garnishes separate from the lettuce, chicken and carrots until just before serving as the noodles would get soggy.
Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon or not at all. Oregon native transplanted to Chicago....