Thursday, April 9, 2009

BB: Peanut-y Chinese Chicken Salad

This month, Barefoot Bloggers brings us a dish for lunch, dinner, or just a snack selected by McKenzie at Kenzie's Kitchen - the Barefoot Contessa's Chinese Chicken Salad! I actually remember watching this episode (several times!) where she made this salad (along with a pesto farfalle, yum) and brought it for a picnic on the beach. I wish that I had a beach nearby to bring this chicken salad to, but alas, I suppose my office will have to do! In any case, I was pretty excited to try this recipe because I had seen it multiple times on TV already and it sounded delish.

Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa's Recipe featured in Barefoot Contessa Parties!

6 servings

  • 2 1/2 split chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • Good olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups of green beans
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded
  • 2 scallions (white and green parts), sliced diagonally
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds, toasted
Dressing Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/8 cup good apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3/4 tablespoons dark sesame oil
  • 1/4 tablespoon honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon peeled, grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
What to do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub with the skin with olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones, discard the skin, and shred the chicken in large bite-sized pieces.

Cut the green beans into thirds. Cut the peppers in strips about the size of the green bean pieces. Combine the cut chicken, green beans, and peppers in a large bowl.

Whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing and pour over the chicken and vegetables. Add the scallions and sesame seeds and season to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature.


I would say that this came out pretty successful! I was happy to see that the recipe uses my favorite means of roasting chicken breasts -- this is the same technique that Ina Garten uses in other chicken recipes and the one that I particularly use when I'm making her chicken noodle soup. It is so simple, yet it results in a very moist and flavorful chicken breast. I've done this before when I wanted to just have the chicken breast itself (and not incorporated into another dish). I highly recommend this method! (Even sticking it in slightly frozen!)

I also ADORE the dressing. I tasted the dressing before pouring it on my chicken (I mean, what if I didn't like it? I would hate for all that chicken to go to waste!) and I fell in love. I think this is a great dressing for a regular veggie salad, lightly added. Due to some technical difficulties (i.e. forgot to buy and ran out of...), I substituted the vegetable oil with olive oil.

The original recipe called for asparagus, but I decided to use green beans -- I was all asparagus-ed out from earlier in the week and had quite a bit of green beans left in my refrigerator arsenal. The original recipe also called for bone-in, skin-on chicken breast, but along with the green beans, I have quite a bit of boneless skinless chicken breast in my fridge, so I used that instead. The chicken still turned out very moist.

The end result? Quite a tasty salad, but I think I may have over-dressed it. Although, as I mentioned, I rather love the dressing, I think I may have went a bit overboard with it. But, when balanced out with a pile of greens or on a sandwich, the chicken salad won me over.


Jamie said...

It seems as though I am in the minority here...I was not a huge fan, but I glad everyone enjoyed this dish. Yours looks good!

chocolatechic said...

I am so glad that you liked it.

So did I. said...

I thought there was a lot of dressing too, but I chalked that up to my swapping ingredients. Good to know it wasn't just me. Glad you liked it!


Diana said...

This seemed to be a successful and tasty recipe for most. I loved it. I thought there was a lot of dressing and didn't want to soggy the whole salad so I drizzled the dressing on the individual servings.

Debinhawaii said...

Yur salad looks great! I liked this one too!

Natashya said...

This is definitely on the to-make list. Looks great, and I love all things Ina! said...

I was pleasantly surprised at the great flavor this had, too!

oysterculture said...

oh, yum - this recipe sounds so good.

Andrea said...

Your salad looks delicious! I also loved the dressing. Good call on the green beans, I was thinking about those, but went with green pepper instead. How funny that you had seen this episode several times, I haven't seen it at all yet!

Penny said...

Yours looks yummy! Good idea on the green beans. All kinds of vegies could be substituted.

Screamin' Mama said...

Looks delicious! Summer is coming and we love to have a salad with our charred meat. Thanks.

The Duo Dishes said...

The dressing for most chinese chicken salads is addictive! Making it from hand is better we're sure.