Confession is good for the soul and here is mine; I love Chinese take-out. There are just a few problems with it—you relinquish control over the ingredients, you consume more fat and calories than you realize and it’s costly. But I’ve found the perfect way to indulge my cravings while trimming the fat from my diet and my expenses. Here’s a quick and delicious Indo-Chinese chicken salad recipe that takes care of two loves of mine—chicken salad and my desire to eat all things Asian.
Note: This recipe can be made with leftover roast chicken, purchased rotisserie chicken or poached chicken breasts. Purchasing broccoli slaw mix and garlic-ginger paste at the grocery always saves time and allows for a quick and easy meal.
INDO-CHINESE CHICKEN SALAD
To poach chicken for this recipe:
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon salt
2 cloves of smashed garlic
1 teaspoon of peppercorns
1 two-inch knob of ginger sliced (no need to peel)
Place the chicken and aromatics in a pot and (if doubling) make sure they are in a single layer, next place the salt, garlic, peppercorns and ginger on top of the chicken. Cover the ingredients with water until it comes up to the top of the chicken. Bring the liquid to a boil and then immediately reduce to simmer. Begin checking the chicken at 8 to 10 minutes—it is finished at a temperature of 165 °F. It should take roughly 15 minutes to poach based on the thickness of your chicken pieces. When the chicken is no longer pink or at 165 degrees, remove from water and place on a platter to rest and cool.
Tip: Double the recipe and use the leftovers for a chicken and pasta dish, a protein for a green salad, or add to organic chicken broth and veggies for a light soup for later in the week.
For the salad:
1 cup of broccoli slaw (or combine broccoli stems, carrots and red cabbage sliced into sticks)
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
1/4 cup of unsalted peanuts
1 small shallot, minced
2 poached chicken breasts, diced into 1-inch cubes
2 scallions, sliced – green and white portions
For the dressing:
4 tablespoons of organic smooth peanut butter
2 teaspoons of rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons of soy sauce
juice of one lime (more limes for serving)
1 teaspoon of coconut sugar (or another sweetener, such as honey)
4 teaspoons of warm water
1 teaspoon of garlic/garlic paste
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
Mix all the dressing ingredients together (using the warm water to thin the peanut butter). The dressing should be relatively thick but still easy to pour.
In a medium sized bowl add your chopped chicken, shallots, and broccoli salad. Spoon in enough dressing to your preference of coverage – I prefer a light dressing – and I used about half the dressing. Lightly mix until covered. Then add your cilantro, scallions, and peanuts.
You may serve this dish on its own, in lettuce cups, place in spring roll wrappers or inside a whole-wheat pita or flour tortilla. The options are plentiful. Serve with wedges of lime.
Tip: This dressing will make enough for leftovers to serve with rice noodles or even as a dressing for a salad or double the recipe and have a dipping sauce for satay or peanut noodles later in the week.