Friday, September 5, 2008

Grilled Chicken with Asian Slaw and Avocados

My Asian slaw (above) is a slight adaptation I made to my family's "famous" Chinese Chicken Salad recipe. Whenever we get together with the WHOLE family, it is always a potluck. My mom has 3 sisters and a brother and they all live here in So. Cal. so add their kids (my cousins and often significant others ... none are married yet) and my sisters and all our kids... Well it is a big group. And chances are somebody makes the Chinese Chicken Salad as their contribution to the meal.

The reason it is so popular with our family is twofold, I think. Firstly, it is mild yet very flavorful and appeals to most everyone. And secondly, it is made with cabbage. Cabbage is the perfect salad when you need to make it ahead of time and serve a large group. It can hold up well to the dressing and does not easily wilt or get soggy when sitting fully dressed on a counter for several hours! Really it is the best way to go if you have a large group. For as good as a green salad may be, once it wilts, gets soggy and turns to a mush of old lettuce... who likes it?

When you are in a quandary about what to make for your next potluck, I urge you to offer up this salad. It is so easy and I have yet to meet someone who didn't like it!

Chinese Chicken Salad

1 small head of cabbage (I buy pre-shredded bags and use 1 to 2)
4 green onions chopped
1 package of chicken flavored Top Ramen®
2 Tbls. sliced almonds
1 tsp. sesame seeds
1 Tbls. butter
cooked chicken (about two large full breasts)

Normally I bake two or three chicken breasts with bones and skin in the oven with light seasoning and olive oil. When cooked through, let it cool. Shred or cut up chicken into bite size pieces. Can be done up to a day ahead.

Crumble up the Ramen® noodles and set the seasoning packet aside. In a medium saute pan melt the butter and add the crumbled noodles, almonds and sesame seeds. Saute on on medium to low heat until the noodles and almonds begin to brown and get crispy. Take off the heat and set aside to cool in a small bowl. Can be done several hours or up to a day ahead.

Make the dressing.
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 packet of seasoning from the Top Ramen®
Salt and Pepper to taste
(I add a little chili oil and a tiny bit of soy sauce too)

Whisk together all the above ingredients. Can be made a day ahead.

In a large bowl combine the cabbage, green onions, chicken, toasted Ramen, almonds and sesame seeds and toss with the dressing. And voilá! There you have it. If I make it though, I almost always add red and/or yellow bell peppers to give it some color and add some vegetable content. Other great additions I have tried are celery, carrots, and mushrooms.

Now as I said, these photos are a slight adaptation to the above recipe. I had made the salad one evening when my parents were over. I didn't use all of the dressing or the toasted topping though. So the next day when deciding what to eat for myself, I decided on this little twist.

In a bowl, I tossed the cabbage with red bell peppers, cilantro and green onions with the dressing. I placed it on the plate and topped with the toasted noodles, almonds and sesame seeds and garnished with more cilantro. I then placed fresh, warm, grilled chicken and sliced avocado on my plate and drizzled with a tiny bit of chili oil. I LOVE heat!

The cilantro worked so perfectly with the dish that I may include it the next time I make the regular recipe. And the warm chicken and avocado really rounded out the meal. Let me tell you. It was filling, flavorful and a more than satisfying dinner for a warm summer evening. DO try this at home.

Grilled Chicken with Asian Slaw and Avocados

This dish is based off of an easy and satisfying ...

See Grilled Chicken with Asian Slaw and Avocados on Key Ingredient.


StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

This is a great recipe for the 90 degree days we've been having. It looks delicious. Can't wait to try it.

Lori Lynn said...

Great combination of ingredients NIcole. I was thinking it could be a delicious fast dinner, too, using a rotisserie chicken picked up at the market on the way home.

Proud Italian Cook said...

I love this Nicole, I love those flavors, and the addition of avocado makes it even better!

Anonymous said...

Yumm! I'll have to try this very soon since I've tried every other salad on my family this summer.... yet it's still blistering hot. I'm with Lori Lynn on the rotisserie chicken!

Thank you for sharing, sweets!

xoxox Amy

That Girl said...

I was sold with the avocados. Everything else is just a bonus. said...

cilantro, avocado and chicken!?!? it all works so well! Nice!

Kristen said...

That looks fantastic! Really refreshing and light. Looks like the perfect family gathering recipe.

Darius T. Williams said...

I mean, really - who can be mad at a dish like this? And cilantro...or chinese parsley - yup, good times!


Robin Sue said...

This is such a great looking salad. I love the taste combinations going on. So very colorful too!

Nicole said...

Sticky- Do try it. It is very satisfying on a warm night.

Lori- The rotisserie chicken would work perfectly! Nice and easy!

Marie- It is a great flavor combination. I have brought this to concert in the park too. Holds up well.

Amy- Well salad is GOOD for you family! And any way to save time especially in the heat, I say go for it.

Kate- Don't you just love avocados? I was thinking you might like this with shrimp too! :-)

Bren- Thank you. From you, this is SUCH a compliment!!!

Kristen- It really is a good family recipe! Sometimes I do it simply for the kids then add more veggies for the adults.

Darius- You said it!

Robin- I love to make dishes colorful. Somehow it doesn't seem complete unless there is a bit of variety.

chefectomy said...

Yep, you definitely had me at the avocado. Great photo, cool family recipe.

I read your profile and we sort of share a similar love a perfect day. One of mine was at a Tuscan villa with my wife and 7 month old sitting at a pool, overlooking olive trees and vineyards. Need more of those days...


Nicole said...

Marc- Welcome! Your perfect day sounds so tranquil and lovely! Did you travel to Italy w/ your little one? That sounds brave.

Heading to check out your site now!

Gloria (Canela) said...

Look delicious I love it! xxGloria

A World in a PAN said...

Still missing the good avocados I had in Califronia last July ...

Nicole said...

Gloria- Thank you, dear! It is good.

Laura- Avocados ARE a thing to be missed! Can you find them anywhere in France? Are they just too expensive?

chefectomy said...

Yes Nicole, she is now 7 years old but has been to 9 countries. We are major believers in getting kids to travel at a young age. Some are better at it than others but the bottom line is you can't beat exposing them to other parts of the world. Now she tells us "I want to go back to London daddy" but expensive.


Nicole said...

Marc- That is VERY cool. I think I would do it if my husband were on board and/or I had the means. I love that kind of exposure and feel so good and at home in Europe. I wish we had the means to travel around with them. I miss it so much. My first trip was back in high school and after that I thought I would be going to Europe at least every 2 or 3 years because I was so enamored. And I did go back several times after but not since I've been married.

Sophie said...

Hi :),

We would like to feature your chinese chicken salad on our blog and possibly our digital-recipe reader, too.

Please email if interested. Thanks :)


waylan c said...

top ramen? seriously?

the hungry practical at 3am guy in me says 'whatever' and chews away, but the striving for above average, Chinese in me is skeptical. i haven't eaten Top Ramen (and you're talking Maruchan aren't you) since the dorms at undergrad.

though I can't judge when i haven't eaten it (seems pretty sparse as a 'salad' though), esp when i have the occasional urge for those packaged Korean ramyun, with probably double the msg.

i came here looking for aioli recipes..

Nicole said...

Waylan- Welcome to my blog! I hear your sentiments on Top Ramen (yes Maruchan). It is as close to Chinese food for me as gold fish crackers are to seafood.

I actually ate it once, maybe twice in college and hated it both times. I would have to be food deprived for days before considering eating the stuff now! Seriously! But if you look at the recipe, you will note that cabbage is the bulk of the salad and I usually add other vegetables as well. The Ramen is not cooked normally but the dry noodles are sauteed in butter along with almonds and sesame seeds. It creates a great crunch to this salad.

All that being said, it is still not real Chinese. More American food with Chinese flavoring.

For aioli recipes try these: