Sunday, October 16, 2011

Chinese Chicken Salad

Sous Vide Details: Cook Chicken at 142F for 1 1/2 - 2 hours

Ingredients, Serves 4:
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 head napa cabbage sliced cross-wise into thin slivers
  • 2 romaine lettuce hearts sliced cross-wise into thin slivers
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup shredded almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced scallions (green onions)
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms (optional)
  • Chinese Rick sticks
  • Vegetable oil for cooking rice sticks (~4-8 cups)
  • Dressing:
    • 1/2 cup white vinegar
    • 1/2 cup EVO
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 6 tablespoons sugar
    • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
One of San Francisco (and probably California in general) signature dishes is Chinese Chicken Salad (CCS)!  In my humble opinion, it is also one of the most widely "interpreted" salad I've ever seen.  You can go pretty much all over the US and if you ask for a Caesar salad, you know what to expect.  Same with a Cob salad or a Spinach salad.  But order a Chinese (or Asian) chicken salad, and sit back in anticipation because you really don't know what is coming out!  In general, what does come out is very good, but I've seen (and tasted) pretty bad CCS!  The variety is its strength and weakness.  Here, I give you my interpretation of the famous CCS, sous vide style!

Salt and pepper the chicken breast to taste and place in food bag along with the thyme sprigs.  Heat the water bath to 142F.  Seal the chicken and place in the water bath and cook for 1-2 hours.  When the chicken is done, take out of water bath and bag, pat dry and either shred by hand into small pieces or cut into small pieces.

While the chicken is cooking, pour vegetable oil into a deep pan until there is roughly 2" of oil in the pan.  Heat the vegetable oil on medium high heat.  When the oil is hot enough to sizzle when you drop a VERY SMALL drop of water in it (be careful here!), carefully place the rice sticks (little bit at a time) into the oil.  The rice sticks will puff up immediately.  Using a metal strainer, remove the rice sticks quickly before they brown and place on paper towel.  Do this with as much rice sticks as you want for the salad.

For the salad, add the shredded chicken, cabbage, romaine, almonds, scallions, carrots, cilantro and
mushrooms into a large bowl and mix well.

For the dressing, add all the dressing ingredients into a shake-able container and shake well.  Toss the salad with a portion of the dress just to coat.  Remember, a little goes a long way!  If you're not going to use all of the salad immediately, only toss that portion you are going to use.  Keep the rest of the salad in an air tight container in the refrigerator separate from the dressing to keep fresh.

To present, place some rice sticks on the plate.   Add some salad on top of the rice sticks.  Place some chopped cilantro or thinly sliced scallions on top and present!


Christine's Pantry said...

Great looking salad.

SiliconValleySousVide said...

Thanks. This is my go to comfort food!

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