A creamy peanut butter dressing is folded into shredded chicken and a colorful mix of fresh vegetables. It’s a hearty, flavorful salad that works great for a picnic or lunch bag!
FOR THE DRESSING:
- 3/4 c. vegetable oil
- 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 c. soy sauce
- 2 T. toasted sesame oil
- 3 T. honey
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tsp. minced fresh ginger (add a bit more if you really like ginger!)
- 1 T. toasted white sesame seeds
- 1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE SALAD:
- 6 large chicken breasts
- olive oil
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb. green beans, asparagus, and/or sugar snap peas – ends removed, cut into 1″ to 2″ pieces
- 2 sweet bell peppers – red, green, yellow, or orange – cored, seeded, and sliced into 1″ to 2″ pieces
- 1 10-oz. bag shredded carrots, or a couple peeled carrots that are thinly sliced
- 4 green onions (white and green parts), sliced thinly on the diagonal
- 1 T. toasted white sesame seeds (or use black sesame seeds for a more striking contrast)
- For the dressing: Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients and set aside.
- For the salad: Prepare the chicken. Depending on what I’m in the mood for, I’ll either roast or grill the chicken breasts. Whatever you choose to do, first rub some olive oil onto the chicken breasts and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. If roasting, place the chicken on a large rimmed pan covered in foil (easy clean-up!) and place in a 350° F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until chicken is just cooked through. If grilling, place on a medium-high grill and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until chicken is done. Set aside until cool enough to handle, and then shred the chicken by using two forks to pull apart into bite-sized pieces.
- While the chicken is cooking, blanch the green beans, asparagus and/or sugar snap peas in a pot of boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes, until just crisp-tender. Immediately place them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain.
- If you don’t have toasted sesame seeds on hand, toast some while the chicken is cooking. Do this by placing the 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds for both the dressing and the salad into a dry saute pan. Saute over medium heat for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until they are nicely browned and fragrant. Shake the pan every minute or two, to prevent burning. Remove sesame seeds to a plate to cool.
- Combine shredded chicken, green beans, peppers, and shredded carrots in a large bowl. Pour prepared salad dressing over the top. Gently fold to combine. Sprinkle the green onions and remaining tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds over the top and season to taste. Sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper over the top. I prefer to serve it cold, but it’s also just fine at room temperature.