Chinese chicken salad {project food blog challenge number 2}

posted on: Friday, September 24, 2010

Or should I say Er? Is that how you even say the number two in Chinese? If you're Chinese and you're rolling your eyes I'll take that as a no. If you're Chinese and you read the recipe below developed by Ina Garten (something tells me she's not Chinese) and you roll your eyes again I'll take that as a hint that this recipe is not authentic. I get it.

It's just that I love the taste and texture of Chinese food but have never made it before. I don't use sesame seed and soy sauce much in my cooking.

But I should.
Because it gives such a nice flavor
And it's not so exotic that my picky Enzo won't touch it.

Challenge number two for Project Food Blog is to make a classic dish from another culture. I had to find something new but also something that my family would eat. Ina Garten's Chinese chicken salad did the job.

Chinese Chicken Salad
(printable version)


  • 4 split chicken breasts (bone-in, skin-on)
  • Good olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 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 the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub with the skin with olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones, discard the skin, and shred the chicken in large bite-sized pieces.
Blanch the asparagus in a pot of boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes until crisp-tender. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain. Cut the peppers in strips about the size of the asparagus pieces. Combine the cut chicken, asparagus, and peppers in a large bowl.
Whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing and pour over the chicken and vegetables. Add the scallions and sesame seeds and season to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature.
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