I want to share my favorite summer recipe for lunches or picnics: Oriental Peanut Chicken Salad.
In this dish, chicken, red peppers, asparagus and scallions are caressed by a peanut dressing with terrific Asian ginger zing, a much simplified version of the Ina Garten recipe, Chinese Chicken Salad, featured in the book, Barefoot Contessa Parties.
Ingredients for 12 servings (party size)
– 8 split chicken breasts (bone-in, skin-on)
**or substitute boneless chicken, boiled until just cooked, then, cooled
– 1 pound asparagus, ends removed, and cut in 2 1/2 ” diagonals
– 2 red bell peppers seeded and thinly sliced in 3″ strips
– 4 to 6 scallions (white and green parts), sliced diagonally (save some for the top)
-1 bottle (8 oz.) Annie’s Naturals Shitake and Sesame Vinaigrette dressing
-1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
-2 Tbls. honey
-2 clove garlic, minced
-1 tsp. peeled, grated fresh ginger
-2 tsp. kosher salt
-freshly ground black pepper to taste
-2 Tbls. Tahini (Optional)
-1 Tbls. white sesame seeds
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2) Coat the breast pieces with extra-virgin olive oil and lots of Kosher salt
3) Roast 35-40 minutes, or until juices run clear. Set aside to cool.
4) Whisk together the dressing, honey, peanut butter, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper.
5) Cut peppers into strips.
6) Remove the meat from bones, rubbing in the salt from the skin, which is discarded. Pull into larger bite-sized pieces.
7) In a pot of salted boiling water, blanch the asparagus only 3-5 minutes until crisp-tender. Drain the pieces and plunge into large bowl of ice water. Drain.
8) Combine chicken, peppers, asparagus and most of the scallions in a large bowl.
9) Pour sauce over the top and shake. Sprinkle remainder of scallions and the sesame seeds on top.
photo from Something Sweet by Karen