Monday, July 25, 2011

A break from cupcakes

I know this blog is all cupcakes all the time right now, but I had to break to share this recipe I just made. I wanted to make something summery for lunch for the week and while surfing pinterest (of course!) I found this yummy looking salad. Whipped it together for myself and hubs to take to work for the rest of the week.

Chinese Chicken Salad

6 large chicken breasts
olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. green beans, asparagus, or sugar snap peas - ends removed, cut into 1" to 2" pieces
2 sweet bell peppers - red, green, yellow, or orange - cored, seeded, and sliced into 1" to 2" pieces
1 10-oz. bag shredded carrots, or a couple peeled carrots that are thinly sliced
4 green onions (white and green parts), sliced thinly on the diagonal
2 T. white sesame seeds, toasted

for the dressing:
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/3 c. soy sauce
2 T. dark sesame oil
3 T. honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1 T. white sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


First, prepare your chicken. Depending on what I'm in the mood for, I'll either roast or grill the chicken breasts. Whatever you choose to do, first rub some olive oil onto your chicken breasts and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. If roasting, place the chicken on a sheet pan covered in foil (easy clean-up!) and place in a 350° oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until chicken is just cooked. If grilling, place on a medium-high grill and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until chicken is done. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then shred the chicken by using two forks to pull apart into bite-sized pieces.

While the chicken is cooking, blanch the green beans in a pot of boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes, until crisp-tender. Immediately place them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain.

If you don't have some toasted sesame seeds on hand, toast some now. Do this by placing the 3 tablespoons of sesame seeds (2 T. sprinkled over the finished salad, plus 1 T. in the dressing) in a dry saute pan. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until they are nicely browned and fragrant. Remove to a plate to cool.

Combine the shredded chicken, green beans, peppers, and shredded carrots in a large bowl.

Whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing and pour over the chicken and vegetables. Gently combine. Sprinkle the green onions and 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds over the top and season to taste. I always add some freshly cracked pepper over the top. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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