Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Chinese Chicken Salad

by Ann

I know that my recipe is old when I have it in my loose-leaf notebook of printouts but do not have an electronic file of it.  If my memory is correct, my sister first found this recipe years and years ago before Chinese Chicken Salads were on most restaurant menus.  When my culinary students ran a cafe for the teachers, this was always our top seller.  I can't remember the last time I made it, but needed to bring a dish to a potluck this week, and thought it would be well received.

Chinese Chicken Salad
Salad Ingredients:
1 # chicken breast, cooked and diced into 1” cubes or slices
½ c chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 head of iceberg lettuce, shredded, or the equivalent of iceberg and mixed greens
4 sliced green onions, green part included
1/2 - 1 small can chilled drained mandarin oranges
½ finely slivered red bell pepper
½ c toasted almond slivers
2 t toasted sesame seeds
*2 pkgs. Chicken flavored raamen noodles, cooked according to directions below

Toss with this dressing:
½ c salad oil
6 T wine vinegar
2 t sesame oil
¼ c granulated sugar
1 t ground black pepper
1 t salt
1 t Accent flavor enhancer (if MSG intolerant, leave this out)

*In a saucepan heat about a quart of water to boiling.  Crunch the noodles in their package slightly before opening.  Take out the flavor packets and dump the somewhat crunched (not pulverized) noodles into the boiling water for two minutes. 
After 2 minutes, drain noodles in colander.  Add most of one package of flavoring to the drained noodles.  Throw the second package away, or keep for another use.  Cool in refrigerator before use.

Lightly crunch the noodles in the package before dumping in the boiling water for 2 minutes.
If making a whole batch (2 packages of noodles) add one of the flavor packets to the drained, cooked noodles for a bit of extra flavor
My beautifully seared chicken from last week's post cut into 1 inch cubes for the salad.
And ready for the party -- my salad was one of many...
A note about Accent, the commercial name for monosodium glutamate (MSG) in the U.S., is a flavor enhancing ingredient in the dressing for his recipe.  Concern about the consumption of MSG  is controversial.  Some say that it causes dizziness, headaches, flushing or burning sensations, in spite of the fact that multiple scientific studies show no direct link between MSG consumption and these reactions.  As a result of the controversy, the FDA classified it as an ingredients that is "generally recognized as safe."  It contains 1/3 the sodium content of regular salt, so can be effectively used in place of salt for those on sodium restricted diets, reducing the content by up to 30%.  In the past when I have left it out of the dressing the taste has been flat.  Bottom line -- I'm using it!


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