Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sesame Chicken Salad

This was a dish I made in about 15 minutes late one night this week. It's a Rachael Ray recipe and very tasty - the dressing is DELICIOUS. I prepped it all and just put it in the fridge for later. I love that I didn't have to buy very many ingredients for it and you could eyeball almost all of it and it still taste delicious.

In true Rachael Ray fashion, she lists a ton of ingredients but don't be overwhelmed by it - it's mostly basic items that you have on hand (or can be skipped).

Sesame Chicken Salad
3/4 cup pure maple syrup, eyeball the amount
1/3 cup dark soy, Tamari, eyeball the amount (I used regular soy)
1/2 cup sweet hot mustard, eyeball the amount (I used stone ground brown mustard)
1/2 cup sesame seeds, a mix of black and white or all white
1/4 cup vegetable oil, 3 or 4 turns of the pan, total
1 1/3 pounds chicken breast tenders (I don't like tenders so I just sliced bl/sl breasts)
Salt and pepper

Dressing:
1.5 inches ginger root, grated or minced (I just used dried)
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 cup Chinese duck sauce or apricot all fruit spread
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Salad:
5-6 ounces mixed greens, 1 bag
1/4 English or seedless cucumber, halved lengthwise then widely sliced on angle
1/2 cup shredded carrots
4 scallions, thinly sliced on angle
1/4 pound snow peas, sliced on angle
Fried chinese noodles for garnish

Combine syrup, soy and sweet hot mustard in a bowl. Season chicken tenders with salt and pepper on both sides. Add chicken tenders to 1/2 of the marinade and coat. Set aside. Reserve the remaining 1/2 for dressing.

Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Spread sesame seeds on a sheet of waxed paper or into a shallow dish. Waxed paper will speed your clean up. Dip the tenders into the sesame seeds (I found you really needed to press them into the seeds to get them to stick). Coat the pan with a thin layer of oil. Cook chicken in small batches 3 minutes on each side and remove to plate.

Whisk ginger, vinegar and the reserved marinade together then stream in the oil while you are continuing to whisk dressing.

Combine all of the salad ingredients in a bowl. Toss with dressing and serve, topping with sesame chicken tenders. Toss some crunch into your salad with fried noodles.

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