Whenever I have some extra time on my hands I love to make this dish. Everyone has their own favorite Chinese Chicken Salad and this is mine.
Kady's Chinese Chicken Salad
w/Soy Vay's Cha-Cha
Chicken Salad Dressing
2 large chicken breasts
my lazy-man's Asian mire poix: a few celery stalks, carrot scraps, scallions, ginger, sherry
2 celery stalks
2 carrots, peeled
1/2 red bell pepper (optional)
1 chile, minced
1 large handful of almonds, toasted
2 ounces of rice noodles, fried
1 cup of chow mein noodles (the fried kind)
1/4 cup lettuce per serving bowl, torn into pieces
(These are all approximate measurements. This salad works best if you make it to your own liking.)
1.) Fill a medium pot with water. Add a few celery stalks (I use the inside soft stalks), a carrot or carrot scraps, a hunk of fresh ginger, 1 or 2 scallions, and 1 T. of dry sherry. Place chicken breasts in pot and bring to a boil. The water shouldn't ever reach a rolling boil but it will eventually get to a simmer or soft boil. When poaching 2 chicken breasts like this I leave them in for about 15-20 minutes from start to finish. Strain and save the chicken stock. It's great for any Asian dish that calls for stock, soups, or when making couscous or similar grains. Take the chicken breasts out and let rest until cool on a cutting board or plate.
2.) Julienne the carrots and celery sticks. I like to use my Kyocera julienne slicer because it's so quick and easy. Be careful of your fingers, though! Use the hand guard if you can. You can use the Kyocera adjustable mandoline for the red pepper.
3.) When chicken breast is cool, shred with fingers into small stringy pieces. Place chicken shreds in a large bowl with julienned vegetables, minced chile, and toasted (and cooled) almonds.
4.) Always wait until serving to add the chow mein noodles, fried rice noodles, and lettuce to the salad bowl. If you think you'll have leftovers, just add these ingredients to each individual serving bowl or put them on a separate serving plate. They will get soggy if stored all together in the salad.
5.) While I have several recipes for decent Chinese Chicken Salad Dressing, I really like Soy Vay's Cha-Cha Chinese Chicken Salad Dressing. Always wait until the last minute to dress the salad.
Note: I did not include the chow mein noodles and almonds yesterday because I was out of the chow mein noodles and forgot the almonds. We were so hungry we couldn't wait to eat the salad! They do make a HUGE difference in the salad, so I don't recommend leaving them out.