I have always kind of liked of salads, but definitely not the preparation part. To me, it always seemed like a lot of work for something that wasn’t all that satisfying. Growing up, I didn’t even like salad dressing! (I was such a weird kid) I always loved, and still love, getting salads at restaurants because they were always so flavorful and I didn’t have to do any of the prep work!
Now that I have become more comfortable in the kitchen over the years, I like to spice things up. This salad is no exception. I made up the dressing on a whim, cooked up some chicken that paired with the dressing, threw a bunch of veggies together and bam, we have a salad! It is full of flavor in all directions. The crunchiness from the chow mein noodles is one of my favorite parts. And maybe I am a little obsessed with sesame oil? This can be eaten as a meal or it makes a wonderful side to any meat or desired main course. This is definitely a salad that I plan to make repeatedly this summer.
And maybe all winter too.
Vegetarians can even omit the meat and still have a wonderful salad on hand. Eat and be merry.
Sesame Chicken Salad
For the chicken
- 1-2 lbs desired cuts of chicken meat (I used bone-in chicken thighs)
- salt and pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
For the salad
- 3 large romaine hearts, washed, chopped with bottoms discarded
- 1 whole cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3/4 cup chopped red cabbage
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1/2 cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped
- 1-2 cups chow mein noodles
For the dressing
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
For the chicken, season both sides of the meat with salt and pepper and the garlic powder. In a medium skillet, heat the grapeseed oil and sesame oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until well browned on all sides and cooked through. Remove the chicken to a plate and let cool. Once cool, shred the chicken with a fork. Set aside.
To make the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients until smooth. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
For the salad, combine all the vegetables in a large bowl. Serve the salad in small bowls, topping with chopped almonds, chow mein noodles, chicken and salad dressing. Enjoy!