Ho-hum.. same ole Chinese Chicken Salad-Anyone want to share a new recipe?
I just finished off a big bowl of Chinese Chicken Salad. The same dressing with the same condiments, that I have been making for years and years. Same one for potlucks and family parties. Anyone want to share their version? I would like to have specifics too! Down to preparing the chicken, dressing and brand names always help! TIA!
Not sure what your normal one is, but here are some quick things to toss in to make it different:
halved grapes (red or green, my family favors green but I personally like red)
walnuts or almonds
For some reason we don't often make chicken salad, in fact we usually only make it for lunch at Passover, to use up all the boiled-til-almost-flavorless chicken from the chicken soup the prior night. For that reason our chicken salad experiences tend to be more about disguising the non-tasty chicken than anything else.
Coriandered Chicken with Mustard Sauce
(i don't care for cilantro, so i use italian flat leaf parsley instead)
1 3/4-2 pounds fresh whole chicken breasts, with skin on and bone in (to yield 3-3 1/2 cups shreds)
for cooking the chicken:
2 nickel-size slices fresh ginger
1 thin whole scallion cut into 3-inch lengths
1/2 pound firm sweet-smelling tomatoes (use 3-4 small), or 1/2 point firm sweet-smelling cherry tomatoes
1 large red bell pepper
1/2 pound firm seedless cucumbers, or 1 pound firm cucumbers with seeds
1 bunch fresh picture-perfect coriander (or flat leaf italian parsley)
2 teaspoons freshly toasted sesame seeds
cooking and chilling the chicken: rinse the breasts and put them in a heavy pot that will hold then snugly. lightly smash the ginger and scallion to spread the fibers and bring the juices to the surface, then add them to the pot with enough cold water to come 3 inches above the chicken. bring to a rolling boil over high heat, reduce to maintain a steady simmer, and simmer the chicken uncovered for 25 minutes. about 3 minutes before the chicken is done, fill a large bowl with 2-3 trays of ice cubes and enough cold water to cover the chicken. once the chicken is done, remove it from the pot with tongs and plunge it immediately under the ice. chill, submerged for 15 minutes. drain and pat dry.
shredding the chicken: discard the skin, then remove the meat from the bone in a s much of one piece as possible. remove the thin membranes encasing the breast and fillet, and discard any tendons or fat. by hand, shred the meat with the grain into strips 2 inches long and pencil width. if you need to work in advance, the shredded chicken may be sealed airtight and refrigerated overnight. bring to room temperature before serving.
slicing the vegetables: slice the vegetables just before assembling the salad, so they are fresh and perky when served. cut larger tomatoes in half lengthwise, then core. place cut side down, then cut across the width into slices a scan 1/4 inch thick. if working with very large tomatoes, cut the slices in half lengthwise to make them manageable. cut cherry tomatoes in half lengthwise to one side of the stem, then slice off the stem mark. if the cherry tomatoes have pretty stems, leave a few of the stems intact for color. cut the pepper in half lengthwise, and remove core, seeds, and ribs. place cut side down, then cut across the width into thin slices 1/8 inch thick. trim the cucumbers and peel them if they are waxed. seed, if necessary. cut the cucumbers into strips, half circles, or seeded arcs cut off the lower stems of the coriander/parsley, just above where they are tied. was the sprigs in cold water, pat or spin dry, then discard any imperfect leaves. chop the leaves and upper stems coarsely into 3/4 inch bits. i like to drain the wet veggies, like cucumber and tomatoes, so the salad does not get too wet.
Dijon mustard sauce:
1/2 cup mild unflavored dijon mustard (Maille brand mustard)
1/2 cup chinese or japanese sesame oil
2 T unseasoned chinese or japanese rice vinegar
1 T plus 1t chinese rice wine or quality dry sherry
fine sea salt, to taste
blend the ingredients until thoroughly emulsified, in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel knife, in a blender, or by hand. taste and adjust with salt. let mellow several hours at room temperature or refrigerate overnight in a clean, airtight container. use at room temperature for best taste and bouquet. For best consistency, whisk or return briefly to the processor or blender before each use. i add this right before serving. it makes plenty of sauce.
Assembling the salad:
toss the chicken with the sesame seeds. then either toss with all vegetables and the mustard sauce and plate. or arrange in separate mounds, chicken, vegetables, etc. for others to assemble. personally, i like it fully assembled. serve at room temperature or slightly chilled. i like to toss it all together pretty close to serving time, again so that it looks fresh, doesn't soften, or get wet.
I have a recipe for a chicken salad that I make sandwiches out of but could also be used for the topping of a green salad. I don't have measurements because I have never measured the amounts of each ingredient I include but it is:
Any leftover chicken you have pulled apart
Curry powder to taste
Scant handful of raisins
Scant handful of slivered almonds toasted
Few green onions sliced
Dash or two of hot sauce
This is really good on pumpernickel. Also, if you prefer not to use the raisins, a slathering of mango chutney on the sandwich is really good!
I have often used the the Chinese Chicken Salad from the Dom Deluise cookbook, Eat This. It is very much like the salad I had many many years ago at IIRC Chef Chu's in the Millbrae, CA area. It was my first evening there and I don't know exactly where I was. It is that nice thin sweet/sour/dark sesame oil flavor. I like toppings of chicken of course and tend to marniate the cooked chicken in the dressing before combining with the mixed greens. I add stinged quickly blanched snow peas, toasted salted cashews, chopped celery, chopped scallions just depends on what I have on hand.
I also really like the Soy Veh! Chinese Chicken Salad bottled salad dressing. Watch the sell by date on it, it goes off very quickly but is very tasty when fresh.
I have not made the salad in ages, the idea of it is making me hungry on a day when I seem to be off food
I lovvvve Chinese Chicken Salad! I couldn't change a thing in the recipe I have and can easily eat a giant bowlful at a sitting.
It's so hot out here right now (Oakland, CA) that the thought of frying up the rice sticks makes me feel faint.
I use a mix of romaine and iceburg lettuce shredded, LOTS of sliced green onions, cut up purchased soy chicken.
Dressing is soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and lots of chopped red candied ginger.
Then puff up the rice sticks, put the whole thing together in a big bowl, top with lots of toasted sesame seeds and toss.
Now if I only had a sub-zero antechamber in which to heat the oil and deep fry the rice sticks, I'd eat this tomorrow night!