Sesame Chicken Salad

The Pioneer Woman
Mon, 10 Nov 2014 13:12:00 +0000
I ordered a salad similar to this one while Paige and I were in Kansas for a soccer tournament last weekend. We had gone back to the hotel room after her Sunday morning game and planned to take advantage of being in civilization by getting all spiffed up and going out for lunch at an area restaurant, then doing a little shopping.<br /><br />Instead, once we got back to the room, we took off our shoes, splayed out on the bed, and decided to order room service. I mean, we don’t get the opportunity to go out to eat in restaurants together on a daily basis…but we SURE don’t get the opportunity to order room service. So we picked the greater of two luxuries—room service—and enjoyed every darn bite.<br /><br />And instead of shopping, we stayed in the room until it was time to leave for her final game late that afternoon. We’re so cool! Ha.<br /><br />Here’s my take on the room service salad I ordered. The flavors are yummy, but the colors are just gorgeous, too. I’m ready to make it again!<br /><br />Note: I’m getting ready to start posting more holiday-friendly recipes, so this salad is the calm before the storm! Enjoy every cool, crisp bite.<br /><br />    First, make the dressing: I used the blender because I was feeling lazy and didn’t want to use a whisk. Start with olive oil…<br /><br />      Low-sodium soy sauce…<br /><br />      Rice vinegar (or just regular white vinegar is fine)…<br /><br />      Then grate in some garlic (or just chop it—whatever you prefer!)<br /><br />      Next, grab a little piece of ginger…<br /><br />      Slice off the skin…<br /><br />      And grate it up.<br /><br />      Next, some toasted sesame oil, also known as Heaven in a Little Glass Bottle.<br /><br />I love this stuff.<br /><br />      Then, for some sweetness, some brown sugar. You can also use regular sugar…or honey. Whatever your poison.<br /><br />      I like a little heat, so I sprinkled in some red pepper flakes.<br /><br />      Then I let the blender do all the work.<br /><br />      Yum! Now, give it a taste and add more of whatever it needs. I added a little more vinegar and sugar, then it was just perfect.<br /><br />      Now that the dressing’s ready, get the chicken ready: I just salted and peppered a couple of chicken breasts and threw them on a grill pan. You can also just saute them…or you can roast them. Whatever works in your kitchen and your life!<br /><br />      Just make sure the chicken has some nice color on the outside, and that it’s done in the center.<br /><br />      While it’s finishing cooking, get the other salad ingredients ready: Halve a bunch of grape tomatoes…<br /><br />      Slice up a purple onion…<br /><br />      And drain some mandarin oranges. Gorgeous color!<br /><br />      The chicken’s done, so let it rest for a few minutes…<br /><br />      Then slice it up…<br /><br />      And cut it into cubes.<br /><br />      Put it into a bowl…<br /><br />      And pour on about a third of the dressing.<br /><br />      Toss it around to coat it…<br /><br />      And then…this is the fun part! Pour in some regular sesame seeds…<br /><br />      And some black sesame seeds, just for kicks!<br /><br />      Then toss the chicken to coat it in the seed. Gives ‘em a nice crunch.<br /><br />(Note: If you have time, you can lightly toast the seeds in a little skillet first.)<br /><br />      Now it’s time to assemble the salad: Throw some greens into a bowl…<br /><br />      With the red onion…<br /><br />      And the tomatoes.<br /><br />      Pour on a little bit of the dressing…<br /><br />      And toss it to combine. You can add more dressing at this point if it needs it, or you can save whatever’s left for a future use.<br /><br />      Pour this into a serving bowl (or just leave it in the same bowl!)<br /><br />      Arrange all the chicken on top…<br /><br />      Followed by the mandarin oranges.<br /><br />      What a stunner!<br /><br />      Gorgeous for lunch, gorgeous for dinner, gorgeous for a late morning room service lunch after a Sunday soccer game.<br /><br />Make it soon; you’ll love it!<br /><br />Here’s the handy dandy printable.<br /><br /> <br /><br />To make the dressing: Put olive oil, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, brown sugar, and crushed red pepper flakes into a blender. Blend until completely emulsified. Taste the dressing and adjust to your taste (I usually add more vinegar and brown sugar but tastes may vary.) (Note: Can make the dressing in advance to allow flavors to develop.)<br /><br />Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken and heat olive oil in a skillet or on a grill pan. Cook the chicken on both sides over medium heat until it has nice color on the surface and is totally cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to rest for 5 minutes, and cut into cubes.<br /><br />Place the cubed chicken into a bowl and pour 1/3 of the dressing over it, tossing to coat. Allow to sit for a few minutes, then sprinkle both colors of sesame seeds over the chicken and toss so that the seeds stick to the chicken. Add more seeds if you prefer a thicker coating.<br /><br />To assemble the salad, place the salad greens, sliced onion, and the halved tomatoes in a large bowl. Pour on half the remaining dressing, reserving the rest if you'd like more later. Toss to coat. Arrange chicken, mandarin oranges all over the greens. Serve immediately.<br /><br />Note: Wait until just before serving to toss the salad!<br /><br />Posted by Ree | The Pioneer Woman on November 10 2014
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