I’ve been fiddling around with this recipe all summer long…. It’s my feeble attempt at recreating Panera Bread’s Asian Chicken Salad. They have a dressing posted on their website, but it’s not very much like the one in the restaurant. It calls for brown sugar and I bet in the restaurant they use white sugar….. Anyway, I’m obsessed with this salad.
We made this on the last day of summer weather. It was a beautiful evening, sunny and still a bit warm when we started. The only glitch was the wind! Man! It was super windy! We ate on the deck, but our stuff was blowing all over the place… napkins, cilantro, lettuce…had to grab jackets. I guess when you live where summer is short, you take advantage of every opportunity to be outside – windy or not! And yes, that’s white wine in a red wine glass…..don't tell my dad...
Another reality from this evening was that when we grilled our chicken, the gas (in accordance with Murphy’s Law) ran out. That’s another sign of the end of summer. We had to swap tanks with an old one from the back of the garage…. The second tank was practically empty too…. Patience….
Here’s what you need:
Cilantro (which I love and can not see omitting)
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts – I like to slice mine in half widthwise, so they are thinner.
Slivered or sliced almonds
Rice noodles (chow mien type)
Mandarin oranges (sometimes instead of oranges I use shredded carrots)
4 T brown sugar
2 t soy sauce
2 T sesame oil
4 T canola oil
6 T rice vinegar
Here’s what you do:
Make the dressing by whisking together the sugar, soy, oils and vinegar. Use ½ the dressing to marinate the chicken. You only need to marinate it for about half an hour ….. that’s plenty of time. Be sure to throw the marinade down the drain when you take out the chicken.
Toast the seeds and nuts at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes.
(The tripod was blowing around like crazy here.... no kidding!
Hubby is in the garage scrounging around for a tank of gas....no kidding!)
Grill the chicken and slice it on the diagonal.
Toss all together with the remaining dressing. Serve while the chicken is warm…..
As you can see in the top picture, I forgot to add the rice noodles, which was too bad because I love their salty crunch. We were just too stressed out by the faulty grill and the wind by that time; just wanted to hurry and eat and get inside!