Our first recipe for April is Ina's Chinese Chicken Salad chosen by Kenzie of McKenzie's Kitchen. I am shocked to say that I haven't actually seen Ina make this yet, I guess I haven't caught that episode yet. But this recipe is utilizing some spring veggies and you can totally make this your own by adding what veggies you'd like or what you have on hand.
All I'm saying is that you NEED to make this and bring it to a party this spring or summer. It's a wonderful variation of the usual chicken salad made with Mayo. You can actually bring this to a picnic and no one will get sick if it's outside!
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 your oven to 350 while you season the chicken breasts. Rub the outside skin liberally with olive oil, and season very well with salt and pepper. Remember you'll be removing the skin after it cooks so you want as much flavor as possible to get into the breast meat. Cook these for 30-40 minutes until the flesh is no longer pink.
While the chicken is cooking, you'll want to prep your veggies and make the dressing. Let's start with the Red Pepper. Slice it in half and rip out the core and seeds.
Slice these into thin strips, and then slice the strips in half. I'm not a fan of huge chunks of red pepper.
The asparagus is a little trickier. You'll need to slice them into 3rd. Check out the red lines.
Then we're going to put them in boiling well-salted water for 3-4 minutes. They should still have a little bite to them.
After they are fulled blanched, then shock them in an ice water bath. This helps stop the cooking process and lets the asparagus keep it's lovely green color.
Then we're going to slice some green onions. Ina says to cut them in thirds like the asparagus, but I say nay to that. I only like cooked green onions that big. So I did it in small chopped bits.
And here we've got all of our sliced veggies ready to go!
Next up.... the sauce. It's pretty simple. Just add all of the ingredients and whisk until combined!
What's that smell? Oh yes... the roasted chicken. This is my first time trying Ina's method of chicken. Otherwise I'd stick the boneless, skinless breasts in the oven and do it that way. Well let's see how they turned out...
WELL NOW! That looks pretty great!!! Once it's cool enough to handle, peel the skin off and strip off the breast meat with a fork. You should have nice big edible chunks.
I was naughty and mixed the chicken pieces in with those juices on the sheet pan. Hey, Ina's all about the extra flavor!
So now all you need to do is grab a big bowl and mix all parts of your salad together. Chicken, veggies, dressing. I only added half of the dressing at first. And it turned out great. Once mixed, top with sesame seeds (and I added edamame!)
And as always, if you'd like a printable copy of this recipe, then please click here!