Asian Chicken Salad With Fresh Mandarin Orange —
Asian Chicken Salad: Perfect For Any Season —
I make this salad a lot during the summer, but back then my blog was just an idea and had not yet been born. So why share a salad recipe now, in a season seemingly dominated by the flavors of chocolate, peppermint and cranberry? Because sometimes you just have hankering for good salad and this is a seasonless favorite.
Inspired By All The “Cuties”
The arrival of all of the fresh mandarin oranges with names like “cuties” and “halos” making their appearances this time of the year inspired me to make this salad. The “swimming women” I hang out with at the gym are getting together for a holiday luncheon. From the chatter I’ve overheard, this bunch of “aqua cuties” have plans in the works for the appearances of many special treats. For some reason, when December rolls around, we get inspired to fire up our ovens in ways we never do the rest of the year. I have a suspicion there may be an overabundance of desserts, because that’s how a lot of holiday gatherings go and a big part of what makes December special. So in an attempt to keep things balanced I’m going to abandon the chocolate raspberry ganache tart I planned to make. Perhaps I’ll share that recipe another day. Instead, I’m bringing this salad that’s crunchy, nutty and sweet – and a departure from the typical December fare.
- 1 LB. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts - shredded
- 2 Romaine hearts, chopped
- ½ Head shredded Napa cabbage ( can use the store bought coleslaw mix)
- 1 Cup shredded carrot
- 1 Red bell pepper, julienned (match sticks)
- 1 Bunch green onions, sliced
- ¼ Cup cilantro, chopped (omit if you dislike cilantro)
- 4 Fresh Mandarin “Cutie” oranges peeled and separated into sections
- 8 oz. Drained mandarin oranges
- ½ Cup toasted sliced almonds
- ½ Package (12oz) Wonton Squares
- 2 Cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 Juice of one Lime
- 2 Tbs. soy sauce
- 2 Tbs. honey
- ⅓ Cup sweet chili sauce (Asian Food Section)
- ⅓ Cup seasoned rice vinegar (what's SEASONED rice Vinegar)
- ⅓ Cup canola oil (or other neutral flavored oil)
- Salt to Taste
- Dressing: In small bowl whisk ingredients together until emulsified. A mini food processor works great for this. Set aside.
- Chicken: Bring a large pot of water to boil. When the water reaches a rolling boil, add the chicken, turn heat off, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Let the chicken cook for 30 minutes. Remove from water, cool slightly, and shred using two forks. Pour a small amount of the prepared dressing on the chicken, refrigerate until ready to use.
- Wontons: Preheat oven to 375
- Cut one stack of wonton wrappers into thin strips - toss to separate.
- Place on a non-stick cookie sheet (can also bake on parchment) and bake 5 -10 minutes until golden brown. Watch carefully because they turn quickly. It's a little extra work to make your own - but worth the effort to provide a crisp chip without added fat.
- Salad: In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and toss with dressing. Top with almonds and wonton strips, serve immediately.
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