RECIPE: CHINESE CHICKEN SALAD
Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa's Recipe featured in Barefoot Contessa Parties!
- 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
- 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
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.