Since our indulgent trip to San Francisco, I’ve had the desire to eat light and healthy food and lots and lots of vegetables. So this week we’ve had salad nearly every night. I’ve made Cobb salad and Chinese Chicken Salad, and I’m making another big composed salad (I would call it a “chef salad”, but I’m afraid of being judged) for dinner this weekend. I did make a mushroom, spinach & Swiss frittata last night, but it was mostly greens. I’m sure that this craving for light food will pass soon, I can’t seem to stay away from cream and butter for long…
Chinese Chicken Salad
1 quart chicken broth
1 star anise
1 1-inch cinnamon stick
3 cloves garlic, crushed, plus 2 cloves, grated
3 ¼-inch slices ginger, plus 1 ½ teaspoons grated
¼ cup soy sauce
2 10-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 ½ teaspoons dark sesame oil
12 ounces napa cabbage, thinly sliced
4 ounces red cabbage, thinly sliced
3 ounces baby spinach, chiffonaded
2 carrots, julienned
½ red bell pepper, julienned
½ cup sliced green onions
½ cup minced cilantro
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Combine the broth, star anise, cinnamon, crushed garlic, sliced ginger, and 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the chicken breasts and poach at a bare simmer for about 20 minutes, or until just cooked through. The chicken breasts will be firm to the touch and the juices will run clear when they are just cooked through. Remove the chicken breasts to a plate, reserving the broth for another use, and let cool.
Whisk together the mayonnaise, lime juice, honey, sesame oil, grated garlic, grated ginger, and remaining 2 tablespoons of soy sauce in a small bowl. Combine the napa cabbage, red cabbage, spinach, carrots, bell pepper, green onions, cilantro, and sesame seeds in a large bowl, add the mayonnaise mixture, and toss to coat. Arrange the salad on individual plates, slice the chicken breasts thinly and fan out the slices atop each salad, and serve immediately.
Serves 4 as a main course. Delicious served on a bed of deep-fried cellophane noodles, but since I was going for light and healthy, I didn’t go there.