Asian Chicken Salad

When you step outside into what feels like a foggy, hazy oven, a warm meal just doesn’t sound enticing whatsoever. What does sound appealing is a cold salad with crisp veggies and a zingy dressing.

First, there is the cabbage portion. I shred mine in a Cuisinart food prep, but you can definitely buy pre-packaged cole slaw mix (just shredded cabbage but they call it cole slaw mix). Then there is roasted chicken; you can again save time and oven heat if you buy a rotisserie chicken. After that there are the sweet mandarin oranges, the crunchy pea pods (which I actually forgot to even add…good thing they taste great on their own), and water chestnuts. I had some baby bok choy ready to be prepared like diced celery in the salad as well, but it was also left out. Apparently my head is in a haze as well.

Just for good measure there are ramen noodles and to add crunch, slivered toasted almonds. This salad is both refreshing and light, perfect for a spring day that feels like late summer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cabbage, shredded or 1 package cole slaw mix
  • 2 – 3 chicken breasts, roasted and shredded
  • 1 can mandarin oranges (save the juice! see below)
  • 1 can sliced water chestnuts, diced
  • 2 packages lightly crushed ramen noodles (throw out seasoning packet)
  • 1/2 cup pea pods (you can also forget this, like I did)
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted (just heat in a dry saute pan for several minutes, turning often) and divided
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup mandarin orange juice
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

How To:

For the dressing, combine the seasoned rice vinegar, sugar, mandarin orange juice, salt and pepper (you can adjust this later, too). While whisking, add vegetable oil. Set aside.

Toss cole slaw, chicken, mandarin oranges, water chestnuts, pea pods, and crushed ramen noodles. Stir in dressing (re-shake if it separated) and mix, getting all ingredients coated by the dressing. Chill for 20 minutes. When ready to serve, add 1/4 cup slivered almonds and re-toss. Garnish with remaining almonds.

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