In our kitchen, Laurent is in charge of preparing and roasting whole chickens. I keep telling myself that one day, I will roll up my sleeves and do the whole thing myself (including cleaning the cavity), just for bragging rights. But in the meantime, he does such a good job at it that I find little incentive to take his place for even a day.
His choice of seasonings varies, but classic choices include garlic, fresh rosemary, and lemons (preserved lemons when available). What’s not to love?
However, I’m usually in charge of finding ways to use the leftovers. I often choose to use the shredded chicken in a salad, depending on what I’m in the mood for. Tex-Mex flavours are a great favourite around here. But the other day, I was in an Asian mood.
I have more (way more) cookbooks than I should, and can usually find a recipe for just about anything. But sometimes, it’s fun to just improvise with whatever’s in the fridge, especially with something as simple as a salad. This one was refreshing and filling, and I was quite pleased with how the sesame dressing came out. Looks like we have a new favourite!
Asian Sesame Chicken Salad
1 cucumber, quartered and sliced
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
2 carrots, peeled and grated
2 chicken breasts, roasted, cooled, and shredded
A big handful of coriander leaves, chopped
3 scallions, or a handful of chives, chopped
4 cups mixed baby greens
6-8 large romaine lettuce leaves
For the dressing:
3 tbsp sesame oil
4 tbsp rice vinegar
2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
3/4 tsp sambal oelek (chili paste), more or less to taste (or substitute with red pepper flakes)
3 garlic cloves, crushed with a garlic press or finely minced
2 tbsp tahini (sesame paste)
In a large salad bowl, toss the cucumber, red pepper, carrots, chicken, herbs, and baby greens together. In a separate small bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients and stir.
To serve: Lay out 2 romaine leaves over each plate. Drizzle a few drops of dressing over each plate. Then pour the rest of the dressing over the chicken salad, toss, and divide the salad among the plates.