Monday, April 8, 2013


Ya know what Big Daddy and Uncle Rick did while they visited us on their vacation?  


Before this beautiful cypress ceiling was in place there was a really low stucco ceiling, which left me feeling closed in; not at all how I want to feel when I’m sitting outside.  Now Billy and I can't get enough of sitting outside.  I seriously need to get a lap top so that I can move my office out here.  Thanks Dad and Rick!!!
This renovation is partly why my friend Leigh’s birthday lunch (I mentioned in my last post) was at my place, so that the girls could see the new outdoor space.  I still have some more changes to make out there, but the ceiling was the major change.

And at that birthday lunch I served this tasty Asian Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing along with Ginger and Lime Scented Pineapple Upside Down Cake.

Now for my salad I made the dressing as well as roasting some chicken, and some broccoli; but if you wanna make it even easier on yourself you could use peanut dressing from a bottle, and get yourself a rotisserie chicken, you might even leave the broccoli raw…you won’t hurt my feelings.

I also assembled the salad in advance and stored it in the refrigerator until the girls arrived.  I just didn’t add the dressing, peanuts or crispy noodles until I was ready to serve the salad.

Here’s what you do.

 First make the peanut dressing.  This can be done a couple of days in advance if you wish.

Add some natural creamy peanut butter to a medium bowl with some crushed garlic.  I used natural peanut butter because it's ingredients are only peanuts and salt; it doesn't have added sugar and stabilizers

The juice of one lime for brightness.

Also in the dressing are rice vinegar, hoisin, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, and sriracha.

Give that a stir, it may get thick on you.

So have some hot water on hand.  Add it one tablespoon at a time until you have a sauce like consistency.  I used seven tablespoons of hot water.

I like roasted broccoli in this salad because the broccoli gets some caramelization.  I also roasted a couple of bone in, skin on chicken breasts.  You can also use rotisserie chicken, or grilled chicken; whatever you like.

Now that it's time to assemble the salad; toss the cilantro leaves in with romaine lettuce.  Line the bottom of the serving dish with this mixture.

I like to add the red bell pepper and carrots next.  I feel like the bright color breaks up all the green.

Then cut the broccoli into bite sized pieces and add that.

I kinda like to cut my veggies all the same shape.  Since the peppers and carrots are in strips, I cut the radishes in half and then sliced them.
The onion is also in slices, not rings.
 If you would like, you could dress the lettuce and veggies with the dressing now.  I prepared my salad ahead of time, however, so I did not dress the salad.

Lay the chicken in an attractive manner on top of the salad.  I prepared my salad to this point, and them stored it in the refrigerator until my guests arrived.

When ready to serve, sprinkle the chopped peanuts over the top.

As well as some of these noodles for crunch.

I drizzled a little dressing over the top for presentation, but I had more dressing on the side to allow my guests to add as much dressing as they liked.



Serves 4

8              cups       Romaine lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces (about 8 ounces)
½             cup        Cilantro leaves, loosely packed
1                           Red bell pepper, sliced
            cup         Shredded carrots
2              cups        Roasted or blanched broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
4                            Radishes, sliced
½                           Medium red onion, thinly sliced
                              Peanut dressing, recipe follows
3              cups        Cooked chicken
¼             cup         Roasted peanuts, chopped
½             can         Rice noodles, the crispy ones (a can is 3 ounces)

   1.       If making the Peanut Dressing; do that first so the flavors can marry.
   2.       Toss the romaine lettuce and cilantro leaves together in a large serving bowl.
   3.       Layer the vegetables over the lettuce.  If you will serve the salad immediately you could toss the lettuce and veggies in the dressing now; do not dress the salad until the time of service.
   4.       Lay the chicken on top of the salad in an attractive manner, and sprinkle the peanuts and crispy rice noodles over the whole salad.
   5.       Serve with extra dressing on the side.

Note*  This salad can be assembled in advance and stored in the refrigerator; just don’t put the dressing, peanuts, or the noodles on until the time of service, or just serve the dressing on the side.

       ** To roast the broccoli:  Cut the broccoli stems in half; lay them cut side down on a sheet pan.  Drizzle a tablespoon of canola oil over the top and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.

    *** To roast bone in, skin on chicken breasts:  Place 2 to 3 chicken breasts in a shallow baking dish or on a sheet pan.  Rub a little olive oil, salt and pepper on the skin of the chicken.  Roast in a 400 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes (depends on the size of the chicken).


1              cup       Natural creamy peanut butter
1                          Lime, juice of
1              Tbsp.     Rice vinegar
2              Tbsp.     Hoisin sauce
2              Tbsp.     Soy sauce, low sodium
1              Tbsp.     Honey
½             tsp.      Sesame oil
½ to 1       tsp.      Sriracha, depending upon how spicy you like it
2 to 3        cloves   Garlic, crushed into a paste (use a garlic press if you have one)
3 to 8        Tbsp.     Hot water

1.  Stir all of the ingredients together, except for the hot water.
2.  Add the hot water to the other ingredients 1 tablespoon at a time; until the dressing has loosened enough to be tossed with a salad.  The amount of water you have to add depends on the peanut butter.

Note: *This may be thicker than most salad dressings you’re accustomed to.

        **This recipe makes more than enough for this salad; use the extra in a stir fry, or toss with warm pasta.

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I shared this recipe at:

1 comment:

  1. Your new ceiling is amaaaaazing! Perfect for hanging outside, enjoying a cocktail and staying cool! What nice family you have. Your salad is right up my alley - I love all things peanut sauce and enjoy all the flavors and textures you've got going on. Salad season is here, my friend!