Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing

by Catherine Walthers

Pea shoots add to the layers of flavor in this seasonal chicken salad, topped with a peanut, ginger, lemon and honey dress- ing. Since the pea shoots are delicate, I usually pass the dressing at the table and let guests spoon over. Vegetarians can substitute protein-rich quinoa for chicken.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-sized split, bone-in chicken breasts (with skin), roasted and shredded (about 3 cups)
  • 3 to 4 cups pea shoots, rinsed and spun dry in a salad spinner
  • 1 cup red cabbage, sliced razor thin
  • 1 large peeled, seeded cucumber, cut lengthwise into quarters and sliced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and shredded (1/2 cup)
  • 1 or 2 cups snap or snow peas, strings removed, parboiled for 30 seconds and run under cold water to stop cooking
  • 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter (for dressing)
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (for dressing)
  • 5 Tbsp. peanut or olive oil (for dressing)
  • 4 Tbsp. water (for dressing)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (for dressing)
  • 2 Tbsp. honey (for dressing)
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce (for dressing)
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (for dressing)
Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing

Elizabeth Patterson

Preheat the oven to 350 ̊F. Rub split chicken breasts with a little olive oil and season on both sides with salt. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 40-45 minutes (depending on the size), until just cooked (160 degrees on a meat thermometer). When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bone and shred by hand into thin strips. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.

To make the dressing, in a medium bowl, whisk together all of the dress- ing ingredients until well mixed. Pre- test with a bit of the chicken or salad, and make any adjustments—does it need to be sweeter, or saltier, etc.

Place the shredded chicken in a bowl and mix with the dressing. Then add the pea shoots, red cabbage, cucum- ber, carrots, and snow or snap peas, and mix lightly to coat. (Mixing the dressing with the chicken first keeps the vegetables looking bright for a nicer presentation.) Top with chopped peanuts, if using. The chicken and salad components can be prepared a day ahead and combined just before serving.