Thursday, August 7, 2008

Cool Asian Chicken Salad

This is a great make ahead dish for warm summer days. I found the recipe years ago in Sunset magazine (I don't know the year since I cut out the recipe). This is a double recipe.
It is pretty easy to make, can be done ahead and always gets rave reviews.

Cool Asian Chicken Salad (serves 4)

2 stalks fresh lemon grass, ends and coarse leaves trimmed; or 2 strips lemon peel (yellow part only, each about 3 in. long)
6 quarter size slices peeled fresh ginger (peel ginger with back of spoon)
1 lb Chinese pea pods, ends and strings removed
4 boned, skinned chicken breast halves (about 1- 1/4 lb total)
Asian dressing (see below)
Romaine lettuce leaves rinsed and crisped
Rice triangles (see below)
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

In a 4 to 5 quart pan over high heat, bring about 1 1/2 inclues water, lemon grass and ginger to a boil. Add Chinese peas; cook just until brighter green (1 - 1 1/2 minutes). Quickly skin peas from water with a slotted spoon and at once immerse them in ice water. Add chicken to boiling water, cover and remove from heat. Let stand until breasts are white in center. Cut ot test at 20 minutes. If pink, return to water until white, about 5 minutes longer. Immediately immerse chicken in ice water with peas. Pour cooking liquid through a srainer; seave seasonings for dressing.

When chicken is cold, in about 30 minutes, drain off ice water. Cut chicken into 1 inch diagonal slices. Line a platter with lettuce, top with chicken, peas and rice. If making ahead, chill airtight up to 3 hours. Add dressing and peanut (I pour on some dressing and peanuts and serve the rest on the side)

Asian Dressing
Mince reserved lemon grass and ginger. Mix with 1/2 cup rice vinegar, 2 T. each soy sauce and salad oil and 2 t. sugar. (I minced them in a little food processor -- adding some of the liquid ingredients to make it easier to blend)

Rice Triangles
In a 2 to 3 quart pan over high heat, bring 1 cup medium or short grain white (pearl) rice (DO NOT USE LONG GRAIN RICE -- I used medium grain/shushi rice from the Asian food aisle) and 1 3/4 cups water to a boil. Cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Firmly pack hot rice in an even layer in an 8 inch square pan; cool. (If making ahead, cover and let stand up to 4 hours). Run a knife between rice and pan rim. Invert pan, easing rice from pan bottom onto a counter. Cut into 2 inch triangles; rince knife often with water.


Liz said...


Carrie said...

Where do you find lemongrass?

Nadine said...

sometimes you can find it at the grocery store in prduce and it is probably easier to find it in an Asian market.

However, I usually use lemon peel since it is much easier to find and use.

I wanted to give you the 'actual' recipe but I think the lemon peel works just as well.

Carrie said...

I got a mix of herbs from the farmer's market once and it had lemongrass in it and ever since I have been wanting it.

CJ said...

You can get lemongrass in Ojai! I made this dish for a dinner party last night and it was a huge hit. Our guests asked for the recipe.