Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Asian Chicken Salad
I'm sitting here staring at a Reece's Peanut Butter Egg. The BIG full size version. It's a battle of the wills, of which I will surely lose. These happen to be my favorite chocolate in the entire world. I've filled my boys' Easter baskets with them and I've sampled more than my share. The perks of parenthood. :)
But today I want to share with you a sensational salad I fixed for dinner. It's light, yet filling and is so unique and delicious, you'll be craving it for weeks (provided that you don't burn the house down during the cooking process - but more on that later).
The ingredients are simple but come together to give you a little crunch, a little sweet and a LOT of good.
Start by roasting 1/2 cup of almonds at 300 degrees for 5-7 minutes - it brings out the flavor and gives it added crunch.
Then pull out of thin air: 2 cups of cooked, shredded chicken (remember when chicken went on sale and you put it in your slow cooker and then froze it in portions for times like these? Loving life right now, aren't you?) To that chicken, add toasted almonds and a tablespoon or two of roasted sesame seeds (I happened to be out of my seeds and the salad was still delish).
And then slice, dice and chop down 4-5 tablespoons of onion - microscopic is what we're aiming for, in case you have a non-raw-onion eating family like I do.
Stir it all up and let it sit while you work on the dressing.
Take 1/2 c. Canola Oil, 6 Tablespoons of Cider Vinegar, 4 Tablespoons of Sugar, 1.5 teaspoons of Salt and a teaspoon of Pepper. Combine these simple ingredients and shake well for a sweet and tangy dressing. Then pull out cool bowls (cool as in I love these bowls and bought them from a restaurant because I liked them so much) and put generous heaping mountains of green leaf lettuce in each.
Divide your chicken mixture and put it on each bed of lettuce and toss with the dressing.
Now for the sensational edgy-ness that transforms your salad into Spectacular Status: Rice Noodles. I'll forwarn you that this takes practice and you have to be careful on frying, or these will burn, burn your non-stick pan and potentially your house if you're not looking. Haven't I just set the stage for you to attempt this without fear? HAHA! I learned the hard way that you MUST use a deep fryer or a regular metal sauce pan (the oil gets too hot for a non-stick pan and will burn the non-sticky stuff and you'll have to get a new pan. UGH!)
Place a few tablespoons of Canola Oil in the pan...
and when it's sizzling hot, throw in the rice noodles. The turn into amazing cool white crunchy curly things that enhance the beauty and pazazz of your salad. See?
Now put all of the fried noodles on your salad and serve it up and sit back to enjoy the compliments that spill forth from the salad enjoyment.
Have a great afternoon and we'll chat soon!