Thai Chicken Salad
Summer is here for us over in Canada, which means salad season in my house. Most people have salad as an accompaniment say with a BBQ steak or piece of chicken....usually boring and forgettable...right! You all know what I'm talking about, iceburg lettace, tomato wedges, cucumber and bottled dressing from the store poured over it. Let me save you from this mundane side dish and introduce to you to a world of possibilities when it comes to salads.
I love the fresh flavours of thai food, actually anything with an asian influence is my kind of food. What I particularly like about this salad is the combination of flavours and textures. The shredded chicken soaks up the dressing and is the delicate softness this dish needs. The crispness from the shredded lettace, carrot and celery is lovely and the surprise is the apple is sweet and crunchy. Fresh cilantro (corriander) is what bring's everything to life and the gentle heat of the dressing is so amazing, you just want more and more.
Thai Chicken Salad
1 baby cos lettace, shredded
2 chicken breasts, poached and shredded
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into fine matchstick pieces
1 small apple, peeled and cut into fine matchstick pieces
2 stalks of celery, finely sliced
2 mini cucumbers (or 1/2 a large english cucumber), cut in half and finely sliced
1/4 meduim red onion, finely sliced
1/2 cup cilantro (corriander)leaves
2 tblsp finely chopped unsalted peanuts
3 tblsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp brown or palm sugar
1/2 tsp sambal oelek (ground chilli paste)
To poach the chicken, place the chicken in a saucepan and fill up with cold water (enough to cover both chicken breasts). Bring to the boil, then turn off heat and let it sit for 30-35 minutes. Let it cool for a few minutes the either using your hands or a fork, shred the chicken, set aside.
Place the lettace, chicken, carrot, apple, celery, onion, cucmber, cilantro in a large bowl.
To make the dressing, put the lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and sambal oelek in a jar with a tight lid and shake until the sugar has dissovled.
Pour dressing over salad, toss gently ( I use my hands so I can get the dressing evenly coated), then divide between two bowls, and sprinkle the peanuts on top.
If your knife skills aren't great or you need to throw this together quickly just grate the carrot and apple, it's just as good. Also I used a gala apple, of course you can use any apple you like I just suggest that you don't use a granny smith, it's too tart for this recipe, you need the sweetness from an apple like a gala.