Asian-style Poached Chicken Salad with Let­tuce Cups

Food & Drink - - TRENDS -

It’s fun for guests to as­sem­ble their own “cups” and it makes for a lit­tle less work and tim­ing anx­i­ety for the host. Co­rian­der is of­ten sold with roots at­tached, and they’re full of flavour! Same with the tough stems. The flavours here are bright, fresh, light and cit­rusy.

CHICKEN

4 cups (1 L) chicken broth

2 or­ganic skin­less chicken breasts; about 1 lb (500 g)

2 tsp (10 mL) red or Sichuan whole pep­per­corns 1 dried chili

3 to 4 green car­damom pods; cracked (op­tional) All the roots and coarse stems from a bunch of fresh co­rian­der; well-washed in cold wa­ter, about ½ cup (125 mL)

1 knob of fresh gin­ger, 2 inches (5 cm) quar­tered

SALAD

6 spring onions, roots and tough green parts trimmed, finely chopped

¾ cup (175 mL) finely chopped fresh co­rian­der leaves and ten­der stems

2 tbsp (30 mL) minced fresh gin­ger

1 medium red pep­per, finely diced

1 large car­rot, peeled and grated

1 Thai chili or jalapeño, finely diced, op­tional ½ English cu­cum­ber, seeds re­moved, quar­tered, thinly sliced

DRESS­ING

½ tsp (2 mL) toasted se­same oil

¼ cup (60 mL) fresh lime juice, about 1 big, juicy lime

2 tsp (10 mL) soy sauce

1 tbsp (15 mL) maple syrup

2 tbsp (30 mL) neu­tral-tast­ing oil: peanut, soy, veg­etable or light olive

2 to 3 heads of bibb (but­ter) or ice­berg let­tuce, cored, leaves de­tached

1 Into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the broth, chicken breasts, pep­per­corns, dried chili, car­damom (if us­ing), co­rian­der roots and gin­ger. Cover and sim­mer for 20 to 30 min­utes un­til chicken is opaque and firm to the touch.

2 When done, trans­fer the chicken to a plate to cool; strain the broth through a cheese­cloth or fine sieve and re­serve. Keep the stock in a cov­ered con­tainer for a soup or sauce—re­frig­er­ate for up to 3 days or freeze.

3 When chicken is cool enough to han­dle, pull the meat apart into shreds; add to a medium bowl.

4 To the chicken, add the green onions, co­rian­der, gin­ger, red pep­per, car­rot, Thai chili and cu­cum­ber. Toss to com­bine well.

5 In a small bowl, us­ing a whisk, com­bine the se­same oil, lime juice, soy sauce, maple syrup and oil. Set aside un­til ready to serve. Right be­fore serv­ing, driz­zle the dress­ing over the chicken salad and toss to coat.

6 Rinse and spin-dry the let­tuce leaves. Serve fam­ily style; sim­ply put out a bowl of the salad with a spoon along­side stacks of let­tuce “cups,” and let every­one make their own. Or, for a more for­mal ap­proach, lay the let­tuce cups onto a very large plat­ter, and spoon a gen­er­ous amount of salad into each. Serve im­me­di­ately.

Makes 6 cups (1.5 L) of salad

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