Thursday, March 21, 2013

Millionaire Chicken Salad


The ladies who lunch came over today and ate chicken salad. Ok, so it was potluck at my house. I made my favorite chicken salad recipe courtesy of my mother-in-law. Potluck is fun for trying new recipes and for actually taking the time to eat lunch with company. I rarely eat lunch in any defined manner as I tend to work until I'm starving and then scarf something down to refuel before round three. Round three is the after school part of my day with children who generally become extremely distractible and off target just as they arrive home with homework to do. I digress from the salad.

It is best with crisp ice berg lettuce but I like butter (Boston Bibb) lettuce and used that today. The dressing is what turns the conventional chicken salad ho hums into, "Mmm, I want that recipe!" Try it.


Millionaire Chicken Salad
Adapted from my mother-in-law’s recipes from Taiwan. 

A knob of ginger comes from a fresh piece of ginger root. The knob sizes range from ½-inch to 2-inches and are covered in a tan colored papery skin. Break off a knob, remove the skin, and then grate, chop, or slice as you like. I estimate a 1-inch knob in my recipes, but I like ginger. Adjust to your taste by using more or less.

Ingredients
Chicken breast, 1 piece, boiled, shredded
Fresh Ginger, ½ knob, sliced

Dried Szechuan Peppercorns, 1 tsp, sift to remove hulls
Peanut oil, 3 Tbsp
Garlic, 1 clove, peeled & zested
Fresh Ginger, 1 knob, peeled & zested
Dried Red pepper flakes, ¼ tsp
Honey, 2 Tbsp
Soy Sauce, 4 Tbsp
Salt, ½ tsp

Lettuce, 1 head, chopped
Scallions or Green onion, 1 to 2 stalks, chopped, for garnish

Equipment
Mortar and Pestle
Fine Mesh Sifter
Zester
Small fry pan


What to do
  1. Boil chicken with ½ knob of ginger until chicken pulls apart easily, about 10 minutes. Allow chicken to cool down. Shred the meat, discarding any bones or skin and the ginger. 
  2. Use a mortar and pestle to crush the peppercorns and break them open. Sift out the shell fragments and other hard parts. Zest the garlic and ginger.
  3. In a small fry pan over medium to low heat, heat peanut oil, garlic, ginger, crushed peppercorns, and red pepper flakes until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in honey, soy sauce, and salt. Turn off heat.
  4. Wash, drain, and chop lettuce and green onion. On a serving platter, arrange lettuce and shredded chicken. 
  5. When ready to serve, reheat the dressing, about 2 minutes. Whisk and pour over the chicken and lettuce arranged on the serving dish. Garnish with chopped fresh green onions. Excellent served with Egg Rolls.
My children would rather be playing with Lincoln Logs and Playmobil