Thursday, September 17, 2009

Crispy Asian Chicken Salad - Recipe # 40 Stirring the Pot

I'm convinced that all husbands love to tease their wives. After so many Tyler meals and finding Tyler's cookbooks in the bed, my husband has become quite acquainted with Tyler. In fact, he has come up with a very funny nickname for Tyler. Hubby likes to call Tyler "T Flo". I'm not sure if Tyler would like this nickname, but I happen to find it hysterical. It always makes me laugh when the nickname is mentioned because it's not representative of Tyler at all. Then it makes me chuckle because it implies that we know Tyler well enough to give him a nickname.

Tonight I made T Flo's Crispy Asian Chicken Salad. It was easy and didn't require a sink full of dirty dishes! (Bonus points for Tyler) I loved everything about this salad and found it a welcome change to all the heavy Italian dishes, desserts and home cooking. I love the crunch of the wonton crisps, the bite of the sesame seeds, and the overall appeal of all the colors in this salad. It is a unique salad that is sure to please. I love the fact that I can feel good about eating this week's T Flo recipe.

Crispy Asian Chicken Salad - Stirring the Pot, by Tyler Florence
1 and a half inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (I used black sesame seeds for more color)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
extra virgin olive oil
1 large boneless chicken breast (Tyler says skin on, I say skin OFF- yuck), halved
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise for fancy prep or cubed it really wouldn't matter
6 wonton wrappers, cut into strips, deep-fried, and salted
1/4 bunch fresh cilantro, for garnish

Preheat oven to 375F. For the glaze, combine the ginger, sesame seeds, sesame oil, honey, and soy sauce in a small bowl and stir to mix. Set aside.
In a large saute pan heat a 2-count of olive oil (about 2 tbsp) over medium heat. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the breasts, skin sides down, in the pan and sear for 3-5 minutes, until golden. Turn the breasts over and, using a pastry brush, liberally brush the glaze on top of the skin. Place the whole pan in the preheated oven and roast for 7-10 minutes, until chicken juices run clear (180F). Baste with glaze throughout cooking so the breast remains moist and tender. Let chicken stand until ready to serve the salad, then slice chicken.
Arrange zucchini strips on the bottom of a plate and top with sliced chicken breast. Scatter crispy wonton strips on top and drizzle with pan juices. Garnish with cilantro.

Notes: This was by far my most favorite salad from Stirring the Pot, thus far. Sometimes I am weird about dishes that are hot and cold. I prefer my chicken to be room temp or almost cold on top of a salad. I let my chicken completely cool before eating. I loved everything about this salad. It was sweet and salty, which is a great combination! I have to say that I agree with Tyler when he says that not every Asian salad has to start with mandarin oranges. I think this is a great salad that has crunch, flavor, and is visually appealing. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys these Asian flavors and wants to deviate from the "normal" salad full of lettuce. This is a terrific way to showcase all that summer zucchini. I absolutely devoured it : D

This is my submission to this week's Tyler Florence Fridays. Please head on over there to see what everyone else has made this week. This is also my submission to this week's Souper Sundays, hosted by Deb of Kahakai Kitchen.

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