I'll be honest, I'm not a big fan of Chinese food; I very rarely make anything remotely Asian in flavor. My husband on the other hand loves Chinese food so he was thrilled when he saw the plate of Chinese Chicken Salad that I placed before him.
Today is Barefoot Thursday, and for those not in the know it is a day which occurs two Thursdays a month and is a day when various food bloggers prepare a recipe from one of the Barefoot Contessa’s (a.k.a. Ina Garten) cookbooks. Today's recipe for Chinese Chicken Salad was selected by McKenzie of Kenzie's Kitchen.
This recipe could not have been easier and according to my husband, it couldn't have been more delicious. My kids unfortunately share my dislike of Chinese food would not touch it so last night became one of those nights I fondly refer to as "Diner Night"...a night when I am transformed into short order cook. I think I would do well working at a diner-I was able to get every one's dinners on the table (hot) at the same time-yeah, I know...amazing. For the kids it was Roasted Chicken Subs with Spinach and Jack cheese and for me it was a poached egg over roasted potatoes and asparagus (you'll notice I did incorporate ingredients from the salad into the other meals so that made it easier). Thanks in part to Jitterbuz.com here's how I think the whole dinner would sound in diner talk:
Three birds on bread-bring in Popeye and Jack it...One dead eye on a green raft...one chopstick bird salad with spears (OK that one's a reach...but they don't usually serve Chinese food at a diner). Moo juice all around.
Chinese Chicken Salad
Recipe by Ina Garten from Barefoot Contessa Parties!
4 split chicken breasts (bone-in skin-on)
Good olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound asparagus, ends removed, and cut in thirds diagonally
1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded
2 scallions (white and green parts), sliced diagonally
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds, toasted
For the dressing:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup good apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon peeled, grated fresh ginger
1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breast on a sheet pan and rub with the skin with olive oil. sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones, discard the skin, and shred the chicken in large bite-sized pieces.
Blanch the asparagus in a pot of boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes until crisp-tender. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain. Cut the peppers in strips about the size of the asparagus pieces. Combine the cut chicken, asparagus, and peppers in a large bowl.
Whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing and pour over the chicken and vegetables. Add the scallions and sesame seeds and season to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature.