April 19, 2009
So this recipe was a recent Barefoot Bloggers pick, a group dedicated to blogging Ina Garten‘s recipes that I do not belong to. I stumbled upon it instead at Ezra Pound Cake, one of my regular reads. I don’t know what it is with me these days, but once again, the sesame oil in the dressing really caught me. Just like the week before I made Mark Bittman’s Thai Beef Salad, I couldn’t stop thinking about how delicious this salad was going to be.
After a day of enjoying the bea-u-ti-ful weather in Toronto this weekend, we arrived back at the apartment in the late afternoon and I began putting the salad together. Each time I added another ingredient into the dressing I couldn’t resist a little taste, getting more and more excited to try the final dish with each taste.
Some of the Barefoot Bloggers felt that the salad was much better the next day, after the flavours had a chance to settle in together, so I was worried that it was going to be short on flavour. Heck no, it was awesome in the flavour department, so I can only imagine what lunch is going to be tomorrow.
But once I plated the meal I realized that there really wasn’t much to it. It didn’t feel complete; probably because I’m a bit of a starch addict, so I wanted pasta or rice to go along with my salad. I didn’t mind the lightness of it, it just felt like a lot of meat on my plate. Next time (and there will be a next time) I would up the veggies in the dish, maybe even add a couple more — like carrots or celery or bok choy — and add some noodles (which I did for my lunch time left overs). But all in all, a delicious meal!
Chinese Chicken Salad
Adapted from Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa Parties!”
4 split chicken breasts (bone-in, skin-on)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound snow peas (or asparagus, sliced into thirds)
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 scallions, sliced diagonally
1 tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted
For the dressing:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
3 tbsps. soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsps. dark sesame oil
1/2 tbsp. honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. peeled, grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted
Up to 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter (I used about a tablespoon, and it was all it needed)
2 tsp. kosher salt (you could omit the salt as you used soy sauce, or add it a little at a time)
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Place the chicken on a sheet pan. Rub the skin with olive oil, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked. Let cool. Remove the meat from the bones, discard the skin, and shred the chicken in large bite-sized pieces.
3. Combine the chicken, snow peas and peppers in a large bowl.
4. Whisk the dressing ingredients, and pour over the chicken and vegetables. Add the scallions and sesame seeds, and season to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature.