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Chicken Salad x Deux

October 3, 2011

by Elizabeth and Emily

It is quite the common occurrence for team Deux Maisons to have very similar recipe interests, but definitely not every day that we actually make variations of the same thing. In fact, the whole Truffled Brussels Sprouts experience was almost a little creepy. It is also not very often that we do not include some form of cheese in our recipes, but that is a whole other conversation. Lucky for you readers, we both made non-traditional versions of chicken salad last week. Both are healthy and light, full of fresh vegetables, and have a bit of ethnic flair. Enjoy!

Chinese Chicken Salad

by Elizabeth, adapted from Ina Garten, serves 8

For the Salad:

1 pound chicken – or about 2 cups shredded, cooked meat
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup vinegar (I used champagne vinegar)
salt, pepper, and garlic powder for seasoning – at least a teaspoon each
1/4 pound asparagus
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/3 cup almonds
1/2 cup chopped snow peas
1 bell pepper (I used half red, half yellow)
4 scallions

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
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Marinate the chicken in the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic powder for at least 4 hours, up to overnight. Place the chicken in a baking dish and cook at 350˙- about 20 minutes for chicken tenders or 30 – 35 for breasts. Times for achieving chicken-doneness are variable, but I hate overcooked chicken so I start checking it early. I cut into it or use a thermometer – as soon as the pink is gone or it reaches 160˙, I pull it out. It will continue to cook for a few minutes outside the oven.

Meanwhile, mix the dressing ingredients in a medium sized bowl. When chicken is cool, cut or shred into bite sized pieces. Cut all vegetables into bite sized pieces as well. Boil or steam the asparagus pieces for 3 minutes, then remove to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Combine all vegetables and chicken in a large serving bowl. Add the almonds and scallions, then stir in dressing. You might not need all the dressing, I only used about 3/4 of it. Toss until the salad is well-covered, then chill before serving to let the flavors marinate. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Tahini Chicken Salad
by Emily, adapted from Epicurious

3 chicken breasts
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup well-stirred tahini
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 lb sugar snap peas, trimmed
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss chicken in 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. In a shallow baking dish, roast chicken until just cooked through, 40 to 45 minutes. Meanwhile, blend tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic, sugar, and remaining teaspoon salt in a blender until smooth. Blanch sugar snaps in a 2-quart saucepan of1 minute, then drain in a colander. Rinse under cold running water to stop cooking and drain well.

Once chicken has cooled, cut into bite-sized pieces. Toss in dressing and place on bed of sugar snaps and bell pepper.

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