asian chicken salad
You know how convenient those rotisserie chickens are? Just stop into the market and pick up a ready-cooked bird. Well, Costco has one-upped the rotisserie chicken! They are selling cooked and shredded rotisserie chicken — breast meat — in cryovacked packages! Now you don’t even have to pick the meat from the bone to make a quick and easy dinner!
This is so freakin’ convenient. I think I’ve figured out their strategy. Whatever chickens didn’t get sold that day, they break them apart and use the dark meat in their soups and chicken pot pies etc. And they package the tender, juicy breast meat for even more convenience for us! I love that!
Now, the size of the package is a bit daunting for this household — with just the two of us — but by breaking it down into manageable quantities and using freezer paper to double wrap the packages for freezing, I’ve got just the right amount for any dinner in minutes.
This asian chicken salad is the perfect way to use that already-off-the-bone chicken. (Of course, you could also just bake or poach a couple of chicken breasts, but I want to make you aware of all of your options. (And no, I’m not being compensated by Costco — but I’m available if they’d like to talk 🙂 .)
Now, let’s get to this total-flavor-explosion salad. Aside from the crispy, crunchy veg, the sweet mandarin oranges and the slight heat from serrano peppers – there are two dressings! They are both winners individually, but Lordy, you put them together and POW!
The first is an asian-influenced vinaigrette. My secret here is wasabi powder, ginger, honey and lime. Toss the salad in this dressing and it adds a tangy brightness to the dish.
The second blend is more of a sauce than a dressing. Made with hoisin sauce, ginger, garlic and lime – it’s sweet with a slight zing from the ginger. Drizzle this over your plated dish and it will add deep pops of flavor.
This gorgeous main plate salad is finished with roughly chopped cashews and those fun crispy rice noodles. You can add black sesame seeds too!
Scott and I kept going back for more of this salad — just-can’t-stop-eating!!!
- 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger juice (instructions below) from 1 knob of ginger about 2 1/2" long
- zest and juice of one lime
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon wasabi powder or several dashes of hot sauce (to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger juice
- 6 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- pinch of kosher salt
- 4 cups shredded or diced cooked chicken breast
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced on a bias
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1" matchsticks
- 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned or grated on a box grater
- 6 mandarin oranges, supremed or 1 11-oz. can mandarin oranges, rinsed and well drained
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1 6-ounce package baby arugula
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped cashews, plus additional for garnish
- sprinkle of crispy chow mien or rice noodles (for garnish and crunch)
- black sesame seeds (optional)
- Using a microplane grater, grate the knob of ginger until it has been reduced to pulp. Scoop up the pulp into a fine mesh sieve. Hold the sieve over a bowl and press on the solids with the back of a spoon. Extract as much of the ginger juice as possible, rolling the pulp back onto itself and pressing. Discard the solids. You should have about 2-3 teaspoons of juice. Divide the juice into two small bowls. One is for the hoisin-lime sauce, the other is for the asian vinaigrette.
- Combine the grapeseed oil, ginger juice, lime zest and juice, honey, garlic, vinegar, wasabi powder, salt and pepper into a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Taste for seasonings, adjust if necessary and set aside.
- In a small bowl combine the grapeseed oil, garlic, ginger juice, hoisin sauce, lime juice and a pinch of kosher salt. Whisk to combine - sauce will be thick and creamy. Taste for seasonings and adjust if necessary.
- In a large bowl combine the scallions, bell pepper, carrot, orange segments, cilantro and mint leaves. Toss to combine. Add the chicken and toss to combine. Add the cashews and spoon 2-3 tablespoons of asian vinaigrette over the salad and toss well to coat. You can add more dressing if necessary, but don't overdress the salad.
- Divide arugula onto four plates. Top the arugula with mounds of the chicken salad. Drizzle scant amount of hoisin lime sauce over the salad and dot along the rim of the plate. Sprinkle the salad with additional cashews, chow mien or rice noodles and black sesame seeds, if desired. Enjoy.