For dinner tonight, Jac made chicken salad. Actually, I first made this salad a number of years ago when Jac’s cousin and her hubby were visiting from Queensland and we had them over for dinner, so Jac calls it “TFP’s Chicken Salad”. I’ve never bothered to write the recipe down before, but Jac wrote down what she did this time, just for you guys. Awwwww, isn’t she good (unlike me)?
TFP’s Chicken Salad
Marinade 4 medium-sized boneless skinless chicken thighs (preferably overnight, or at the very least a few hours – the longer the tastier) in the following:
Note: a lot of these things are to taste, really. So feel free to adjust as you like.
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
4 tablespoons soy sauce (we use Kikkoman soy sauce)
Three-quarters of a teaspoon ground white pepper
3 cloves of garlic (chopped as finely or roughly as you like)
3 tablespoons of sherry (sweet or dry)
Half a teaspoon chopped ginger (fresh or bottled is fine)
5 or so drops of sesame oil
Cooking the chicken:
Pan fry the chicken thighs – it’s ok to have some of the marinade (especially some of the garlicky, gingery bits) in the pan as the chicken cooks at this point – but hold back most of the marinade it will be used to make the dressing once the chicken is cooked. We usually pan fry the chicken thighs whole and slice into strips just before serving.
When chicken is cooked, take it out of the pan and cover/keep warm.
Making the sauce:
Add remaining marinade and deglaze the pan. Add 1 cup of chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil,* then turn down the heat and let simmer until reduced – you can hasten thickening by stirring in a couple of teaspoons of corn flour. Again, it’s up to you exactly how thick you like the dressing to be.
The combination of vegetables in the salad varies according to what we have in the fridge. Tonight we had lettuce, carrots, red capsicum and grape tomatoes. Whatever you put in the salad, it definitely needs some sort of leaves e.g. lettuce, spinach, etc. to soak up the dressing.
The last ingredient which we always have in the salad is cashews – we use roasted unsalted cashews. Tonight, Jac placed the sliced chicken on top of the salad with a sprinkling of cashews and then poured on the dressing. Whenever I make the salad I like to throw the cashews into the dressing in the pan, just before it’s ready to be served. I toss the cashews around in the dressing in the pan so they get a yummy brown coating, and then pour the sauce and cashews over the sliced chicken and salad.
Dig in while the chicken’s hot!
*Important! It is only safe to use a marinade as a sauce/dressing if you boil it, so please make sure you don’t skip this step!